Eric Elwell: More wild temperature swings expected in March

Joe Price, manager of the Maaco Bodyshop on Needmore Road was working outside on a unseasonably warm February day Friday. Temperatures soared to 76 degrees setting a record high for February. Staff photo/Marshall Gorby

Combined ShapeCaption
Joe Price, manager of the Maaco Bodyshop on Needmore Road was working outside on a unseasonably warm February day Friday. Temperatures soared to 76 degrees setting a record high for February. Staff photo/Marshall Gorby

You’ve likely heard the weather lore, “in like a lion, out like a lamb,” or vice versa when referring to the month of March.

The saying came from the normal idea that March is normally such a changeable one in which we can see warm spring-like temperatures or late-season snowstorms. But it seems like we have jumped ahead a month with February coming in like a lamb and going out like a lion.

The temperatures soared to 76 degrees at the Dayton International Airport on Friday. That was not only a record for the day, but the warmest temperature on record for the month of February. The previous record was 73 degrees.

With temperatures having soared to 20 to 30 degrees above normal, we’ve not only seen an early rise in pollen levels, but also an early start to severe weather season. Strong storms caused wind damage and numerous reports of hail across the Miami Valley Friday evening. Luckily there were no reports of severe damage. But once again, we find ourselves under the threat for severe weather late today and into Wednesday. Locally heavy rainfall is also possible as an active weather pattern continues across the area as we start March.

The ups and downs we’ve had to deal with over the month of February look to continue into the new month. The 30-day outlook released from the Climate Prediction Center showed equal chances of above or below normal temperatures. However, a closer look into the forecast details would suggest more wild temperature swings will be likely in the coming weeks. As you might expect, these dramatic changes in air masses can typically lead to some wild weather.

That wild weather appears to have arrived as March looks to be coming in like a lion. It will yet be another week where we have thunderstorms one day followed by snow showers the next day. So buckle up, it could be an interesting month of weather ahead.

Eric Elwell is WHIO StormCenter 7 Chief Meteorologist. Contact him at eric.elwell@coxinc.com or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Author