One quarter through, 2015 off to coldest start on record

Three months into the year, 2015 has averaged below the freezing mark in Baltimore for the first time ever.

Baltimore has, on average, spent the first three months of 2015 below the freezing mark, making it the coldest start to any year here on record.

When Tuesday's high and low temperatures are factored in, the average temperature from January through March is expected to be just below 32 degrees.

This month is expected to end as one of the top 20 coldest Marches on record in Baltimore, with an average temperature somewhere between 39 degrees and 40 degrees, depending on Tuesday's high. That is about 4 degrees below normal.

It compounds what has already been an unusually frigid average for the year to date at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, the point of record for Baltimore since 1950. January averaged 2.1 degrees below normal, and then February finished a historic 10.5 degrees below normal, second-coldest on record.

Before this year, 1875 had the coldest first quarter of any year, at 32.2 degrees, according to National Weather Service data. 1904, 1912, 1978, 1885, 2014 and 1895 all also averaged 32 degrees and change from January through March.

What does that say about the outlook for the rest of the year? In most of the years that started off frigid, the cold trend held up for the next nine months -- 1904 is the coldest year on record in Baltimore, and 1875 is second-coldest. Last year was the 14th-coldest.

But there is plenty of time to make up for it with warmth. In 1912, temperatures ended the year averaging about normal despite the cold start.

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