The key weather and climate features in the northern hemisphere in March 2017

Air Temperature.

Average March air temperature of 2017 in the Russian Federation is the highest on the record, i.e. on the last 127 years. It exceeded the former record of March 1990 by 1.5°. The first three months of the recent year are also the warmest ones on the record.

In March 2017 the highest average monthly air temperatures were reached in Ural, Siberia Federal Districts and in the north of Far East Federal Districts. In Central Federal District and in the south of Far East Federal District they have got the second rank amongst the highest values, in the North-West Federal District – the third one.

During the month in many regions of the country the new temperature maximums were reached, including the monthly absolute maximums. The air temperature norms were exceeded countrywide, in the centre – by 4-5°, in Urals, Siberia and in the north of Far East – by 7-12°. Sometimes, in Kamchatka region daily maximums were recorded during five-eight days in succession. Never before in Russia there were so large average monthly air temperature anomalies at vast territory.

At the same time, March reminded that it was still winter month for Siberia and Far East. Local frosts there reached -40° and lower.
Abnormally warm weather in Siberia and Far East captured also Mongolia, north and central Chinese provinces, Korea and Japan. Here the temperature norms were exceeded by 2-4° (in Ulan-Bator the anomaly is +5.6°, in Beijing - +3.9°, in Pyongyang -  +2.5°). The warm weather facilitated the cherry tree blossoming, which began earlier than climate norm in this year. In the south provinces of China the month became close to the norm, in the west ones – even lower the norm (in Urumqi the anomaly is -1.5°).
The cold weather captured not only the west China, but also neighbouring countries of Central Asia. In Kirgizia, Tajikistan, in the east of Uzbekistan and south-east of Kazakhstan the March became cold. In some days even in the south of Uzbekistan the temperature was lower than zero. The average monthly air temperature in this region was below the norm by 1-2°.
Air temperature in India was in general close to the norm. Only in the north and in the neighbouring areas of Pakistan, like in February, it was hotter than usual, up to +43°. At the same time, in the south-east of the country the month became colder than usual. In Calcutta the anomaly is -1.
The air temperature in the Middle East was roughly close to the norm.
The hot weather together with the spring came to the West Africa countries: Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Nigeria. The average monthly air temperatures exceeded the norms by 2-3°. The same situation is in some areas of Algeria.
March in Europe became very warm. It is the second highest month on the continental record. Only March 2014 was warmer by 0.1°. In the west and north the air was heated above the norm by 2-4°, in the east – by 4-5°. In Portugal, Italy, Czech, Ukraine, Sweden the new temperature maximums were recorded. In the end of the month the temperature in European countries became like in summer – up to +25°.
In USA the last month was very warm. It is in the first ten of the warmest months on the record. In the most USA territory the average monthly air temperature exceeded the norm. As a rule, this exceeding was 2° and more (in the west states – 4° and more). It was the warmest month in history for territories of states New-Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Colorado. In Las Vegas the anomaly was +5.3, Dallas - +4.8, Kansas - +3.2, New Orleans - +3.0. And only in the north-east of the country the last month became cold. In Boston the anomaly was -2.4. In Alaska March 2017 became the sixth coldest month in state’s history. The average monthly air temperature anomaly was -5.5°.
March was cold in Canada also. In west, south and east provinces the average monthly air temperature was below the norm, in some places of Yukon, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec provinces – by 2-4°. And only in the north-east of the country, i.e. in Arctic region, it was warmer than usual.
As before, Arctic remains an exclusively warm region. The last March is the second warmest in the history, only March 2011 was warmer. The average monthly air temperature exceeded the norm by more than 4°. In the east, i.e. Russian Arctic sector, anomalies have set 6-12°. As it known, the annually maximum of the ice space in Arctic in March is registered. This year it is happened on 7 March and it was revealed that the ice cover decreased by 100 thousand square kilometres in comparison with the minimal value of 2015. According with the specialists’ opinion, if the global warming trend would be kept, the Arctic sea ice by the middle of recent century will be the seasonal phenomenon, i.e. during the summer it will be completely or partially absent , which will be cause the free zone for navigation.
In general, March of 2017 in the Northern Hemisphere was very warm. Its average air temperature succeeds only to the analogue value of the last year.
The average monthly air temperature in Moscow in March was +2.4°, anomaly - +4.5°. The last March is the warmest one on the capital record. Only March of 2007 and 2014 were warmer.

Ocean Surface Temperature.

The sea surface average temperature anomalies (SST) of Atlantic and Pacific oceans of Northern Hemisphere in March 2017 were slightly decreased (by 0.2° in Atlantic ocean and by 0.1° in Pacific one).
In the equatorial latitudes of Pacific ocean the neutral phase of the Southern oscillation is being kept. Besides, the abnormally warm water in Peruvian Current and its appearance near the Galapagos islands is a precursor of the beginning of the new El-Niño.
Abnormally warm water is observing along the Pacific shore of the USA and Mexico and abnormally cold – on the other, Asian shore of the ocean, and also near Alaska shore. The last one is connected with the very cold weather in March.
The large part of Indian ocean also has the temperature below the norm.
In Atlantic ocean the SST below the norm is observed near African shore and Mexican gulf, along the USA shore.
SST in Barents sea is above the norm.


In the most part of European territory of Russia (ETR) the precipitation is near the norm or slightly more. Appreciable norm exceeding (in 1.5-2.0 times) was registered in Murmansk, Moscow, Ivanovo, Vladimir, Astrakhan districts, in Mari El republic. There are some Russian districts, where the precipitations were below the norm. These are Kabardino-Balkaria, Chuvash, Tatarstan and Bashkortostan republics, Penza and Bryansk districts. The warm spring weather by the middle of the month was the reason of all ice cover thawing in the Central Russia. However, in the end of the month the snow unexpectedly was resumed for some time due to wet snowfalls.
It was a few precipitation in Urals (in Chelyabinsk district – less than a half norm). Only in the north of the district the precipitations were in norm. Heavy snowfall covered South Urals on the 30th day of winter. In Siberia it is the deficiency of precipitations. Only south areas of West Siberia (Tomsk, Omsk, Novosibirsk regions) and Taimyr have got the norm of precipitations. Sometimes it was snow followed by the snowstorm.
South regions of Far East were out of their precipitations share. There were regions in Amur district with only millimetres of precipitations. But in the north of Magadan district and Kamchatka area they were abundant, with the norms exceeding in 1.5-2.0 times.
In the most part of China it was mainly dry weather. Only in some areas of Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang the heavy rains fell and average monthly precipitations sums in some places were exceeded in 2-3 times. The heavy rains were in Japan, with daily precipitation of 35 mm.
A lot of rains were in south-east of Asia. In Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Philippines the precipitations were above the norm in 2-3 times.
In the most part of India it was dry weather. Only in the north and in neighbouring Pakistan there were rains, which brought the normal precipitations. In the south-east and in Bangladesh the rains were above the norm in 1.5-2.0 times.
It was dry in Iran, in Middle East the dry weather in the south-west (Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, Israel) was the neighbour of abundant rains in Persian Gulf countries and Turkey.
Dry weather prevailed in the most part of Africa. The rains were only in some areas of Algeria and Gulf of Guinea. Exclusive drought is in the east of continent. Some areas of Horn of Africa have the driest period over the last 30 years. Tens of million people in Somalia, Sudan, and Ethiopia faced the famine. In accordance with the news of human rights organizations only during two days of March starvation caused the hundreds of deaths. UN allocated more than $4 billion for the population rescue.
European territory in March one can roughly divide as a dry south, partially dry north and wet east, centre and west. A few rains were in Italy and in some Balkan countries, where in some areas there were absolutely dry. Slightly better the situation was in the south of Scandinavian countries, where the precipitations sums barely reached the half of the norm. But the other continental territory has a plenty of rains. Sometimes there were heavy showers, which brought up 70 mm of precipitations. In some areas of Baltic countries, Belarus, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, France, Spain monthly precipitation norms were exceeded in 1.5-2.0 times.
In the most part of USA the monthly precipitation sums have made a norm and more. It regards many areas of the country, but especially to the west and north-west territories (states of Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington). Here in some places the precipitation sums exceeded the norms in 2-3 times. In the middle of the month the north-east of USA experienced the heaviest snow storm. Snowfall covered 13 states. The snow depth reached 30 cm. It was followed by a sleet and strong wind. One day some areas have got up to the half of the monthly precipitation norm. It was news on casualties, electricity shortages, closed airports and traffic collapse. In the south-west of California it was dry once again, like in the neighbouring areas of Mexico. Only in the centre of this country the heavy rain fell, they brought 2-3 monthly precipitation norms. The heavy showers fell also in Columbia, which caused the riverbeds overflowing, floods and mud flows.
Canada had the precipitation norm and more, except east province of Quebec and west one – Yukon, where it was a few precipitations, the same was in Alaska.
In Moscow it was 57 mm of precipitations in March, this is 168% of the norm. By 20th of March the winter snow cover in the capital thawed completely, it happened by three weeks earlier the climate date. However, in the end of the month it was slightly resumed, but thawed swiftly.