The key weather and climate features in the northern hemisphere in March  2016

Air temperature

The weather in the Russian Federation supported the first month of spring general warming trend. Although in different regions of the country warm and cold periods during the months succeeded each other, in general in March the average temperature was almost everywhere significantly higher than the norm. In most parts of the country anomalies of mean monthly air temperature were + 3 ... + 5°C, and on the Arctic islands in the Barents Sea - + 11-12°C. Only in Chukotka, the air temperature was lower than normal.

New daily temperature highs were set in the Black Earth and the Volga region, the North Caucasus and Trans-Baikal region, Yakutia and the Far East. Already in the beginning of the month in the North Caucasus, the air warmed up to + to 25°C. At the same time, cold and freezing were still frequent. In Kolyma and Chukotka cold reached -40 ... -45°C, in the Komi Republic - -35°C, and even in the Moscow Region up to -15°C. In the third decade, record cold came to the south of the European territory. In the Volgograd, Rostov, and Krasnodar regions, night frosts threatened the growing season of crops.



The average monthly temperature in March in Russia as a whole closed the top five highest values for the whole period of regular meteorological observations in the country, ie, since 1891; the average temperature of the first three months of 2016 was the second highest among similar values for the same period (after its predecessor – 2015).

In East Asia, on average for the month the weather was much warmer than usual. In Mongolia, the average monthly temperature anomalies were above + 4°C, in China - + 1 ... 3°C, in Korea and Japan - approximately + 2°C.

It was noticeable warmer than usual in India. In average for the month - by 2-3°C above normal. In some days, the air glowed almost to 40°C, which is not typical for this time of year, and this weather usually comes there 1-2 months later. The March in India became the third warmest in history.

Even larger positive anomalies of mean monthly air temperature were formed in Central Asia. In Kazakhstan and countries of Central Asia, they reached + 8-9°C. It was warmer than usual in the Middle East (anomalies up to +1 ... + 3°C). In the Eastern Mediterranean countries, the air warmed up to + 30 ... 35°C.

Thus, on the Asian continent in March it was colder than normal only in the northeast (Chukotka) and the southeast (the southern coast of China and Vietnam). In the latter case, the average monthly anomaly of the temperature reached -1 ... -3°C.

It was abnormally warm in much of Africa. In the northeast of the continent in Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, average temperatures exceeded the norm by 2-3°C. About the same anomaly in Central Africa: Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger. And only in the northwest it was cooler than usual. In Algeria, the anomaly up to -2 ... -3°C.

Eastern and Northern Europe in March were in the same hearth heat as the European territory of Russia was. In Ukraine, as well as in Central Russia, were registered new daily temperature highs. In Cyprus, the air warmed up to + 25°C, and in Scandinavia - to + 15°C. Over the month, in Eastern and Northern Europe, the air temperature exceeded the norm by 2-4°C. In Central Europe, the weather was close to the norm; in Spain and Portugal, it was below by 1-3°C.

Very warm last March began for North America. With the exception of the eastern regions of Canada (Quebec), around the average there temperatures were above the norm. In most parts of the United States, this excess constitutes 2-4°C, and in Canada even 4-6°C. In the United States in any State, the average air temperature was above the norm. This is especially noticeable in the Midwest, the Rocky Mountains and on the Atlantic coast. However, at the same time, according to the US meteorological information, in any state it had not reach a record high. In the United States last March was the third warmest in the history of the country, and in Canada it closes the top five warmest.

The Arctic remains exceptionally warm. March 2016 there was the second warmest in the history of the region after the figures of 2011. The first three months of 2016 are the warmest in the history of meteorological observations. The largest anomalies in the Arctic reached the islands in the north of the Barents Sea (up to + 12°C). A little lower, they were in southwestern Greenland (up to + 10°C).

March 2016 was the warmest in the history of the Northern Hemisphere. Since May 2015, every subsequent month becomes very warm in the hemisphere. As previously reported, in February 2016 was achieved a record value of all the mean monthly air temperature anomalies - more than 1.5ºC. The anomaly of the average temperature in March is only slightly less - about 0.1ºC. In Moscow, the average temperature for the month + 0.3°C, anomaly of + 2.5°C.

The temperature of the ocean surface

In the Pacific remained warm phase of the Southern Oscillation - El Niño. At the same time, as predicted, it starts to wane. Thus, in the equatorial anomaly of the average ocean surface temperature (OST) although remained high, but did not reach +3°C anywhere, as it was in the previous months. The average temperature anomaly on the surface of the entire ocean in the northern hemisphere was the same as in the previous month. If equatorial latitude ocean, as well as the waters to the east of Japan and along the coast of Canada and the United States were overheated, the central part of the ocean and along the Asian coast were abnormally cold.

In the Atlantic Ocean in comparison with the previous month, the average OST anomaly has remained the same. Still higher than normal water temperature were in the Gulf Stream and the surrounding waters, and it was much lower in the south of Greenland, covering the entire area of the ocean from North America to Europe.

Abnormally warm weather in the Arctic affected the water temperature on the surface of the Barents, White and Kara Seas. It was significantly higher than the norm.


In Russian Federation last March was rich with precipitation. On the European territory it was only the North-West Federal District, where they proved less than normal. At the rest territory, it was significantly exceeded: in some regions two times or more (Tula, Orel, Republic of Mordovia, Tatarstan and Dagestan, the Ingush Republic). Snowfalls in the European Russia continued throughout the month. At the beginning of the month, a Mediterranean cyclone struck the central region, and brought up to half of monthly precipitation norms. In the middle of the month in Bashkiria due to heavy snowfall was even introduced a state of emergency, and in the third week snow covered the Volga region, while at the same time heavy rains occurred in the Black Earth.

In the Urals was a fantastic amount of rainfall - more than 100mm per month, which is 4-6 times more than the norm went to the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District. Sverdlovsk region was inundated with snow. By the beginning of the third decade, the snow depth was more than a meter. Such thing had never been seen here in mid-March. Siberia, the Altai Republic and Tuva, as well as at the areas of the Baikal region, in the Irkutsk region, and the Trans-Baikal region were covered with snow. The precipitation norms there were overlain 4 times.

Far East - Yakutia, the Khabarovsk Territory, the Amur region, Primorye and Kamchatka in March received 1.5-2.0 times more rainfall than the norm. Only the northern territories of the Far East - the Chukotka Autonomous Region and the Magadan region were partially deprived of rainfall. Mostly they were either not at all or hardly accumulated at 1mm.

In the north of Mongolia at the beginning of the month there were heavy snowfalls, although at the most of the country during the month was not enough rainfall, as well as in the neighboring areas of China. There almost were not precipitation In Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Gansu, Shanxi, and Hebei. Further, in the southern provinces, they had accumulated in the monthly rate, or more, for example, in the provinces of Sichuan, Guangdong and Tibet. In Yunnan and Guangxi provinces on the border with Vietnam where the weather was also dry.

So as almost in the whole territory of Indochina. Only in Malaysia, there are areas where there were heavy rains. Downpours in Indonesia on the island of Java have caused floods, from which tens of thousands of people affected.

In Pakistan and northern India in some places, heavy rains caused flooding. There are areas where rainfall exceeded the norm by 1.5-2.0 times. Nevertheless, in most of the territories of these countries was accounted the rate of rainfall, and in the central and southern states of India even under it.

A lot of rain fell on the Central Asian countries. In Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan in some places the norm was exceeded by 1.5-2.0 times. During the day, dropped out to 20 mm of rain. Heavy snowfall took place on the north of Kazakhstan. There the norm in some places was blocked by 2-4 times.

There were heavy rains in the Middle East. Especially it got to Israel and Lebanon. Downpours came there twice - in the middle and it the end of the month. Both times per day fell out a third part of the monthly norm of precipitation. However, the most awkward situation happened in the United Arab Emirates and Oman. There, with the monthly rainfall norm of about 15mm, in fact in the past month fell about 90mm of rain, ie, 6 times more than the norm. Moreover, the entire mass of rain fell for several days. The result - a completely paralyzed traffic and people who drowned in the raging flood waters. In the north of the Middle East region in the Ararat valley at the same time, it was snow, which covered already blooming gardens.

Africa was mainly dry and only on the coast of the Gulf of Guinea were rains, which together accounted for over a month more the norm.

In Scandinavia, northern Germany and Poland, as well as in Switzerland, Austria and the north of the Balkans, there was little precipitation. While in the rest of Europe was the norm and more. Sometimes there were heavy rains. Therefore, in Madrid the monthly amount of rainfall fell in one night. In Serbia, rains have caused flooding in the central part of the country. Due to the rampant disaster, has been declared a state of emergency.

In the first decade of the month, snow more than once fell upon the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario. In the south, the monthly norm of precipitation was exceeded 1.5-2.0 times. Even more this excess was in the northern regions - in 2-4 times. To the west along the Pacific coast, precipitation was not enough - less than half of the norm.

In the US, more than norm of the rainfall (sometimes in 2.0-2.5 times) went to the Pacific coast, the Midwest, the states located along the border with Canada, and especially the valley of the Mississippi River. In Louisiana and Mississippi, there were areas where norms were exceeded by more than three times. It was these states, as well as neighboring - Arkansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee, which were badly affected by torrential rains in the middle of the month. Heavy rains have caused flooding in the US that was called a major disaster. Meteorologists rated it as the strongest ever observed in this region, with the exception of those that were caused by the tropical storms. In one of the areas of Louisiana, per night dropped 460mm of rain.

At the same time in the southwest of the country, and partly on the Atlantic coast, precipitation in March was not enough. In the states of New Mexico and Arizona in some places they were not there at all. In southern California continued drought.
Rains flooded Mexico. In the central regions, the monthly norms of precipitation were exceeded by 3-5 times. The rains were often accompanied by strong winds (speeds of more than 20m / s), which led to numerous victims and destruction. Sometimes the rain passed in wet snow, which is very rare for this thermophilic country.

In Moscow in the past month fell to 50 mm rainfall, which is almost 1.5 times higher than normal. On March 2, the capital was in a snowdrift. During the day fell a record amount of snow. Moscow meteorologists rated this March snowfall as the strongest in the last 80 years.