LONG RANGE FORECAST THROUGH THE END OF MARCH - 3/17/2019
March is another bridge month. It takes us from winter to spring. It can also see the first warm temperatures arrive. Typically in March, temps are in the 50s and 60s for areas west of the Cascades at the beginning of the month, but rise to the 60s and the low 70s by the end of the month. East of the Cascades we see 40s to near 50 at the beginning of the month that become 50s to the low 60s at the end of the month. The all time record high for Medford in March is 86 which happened in 1930. Average rainfall for Medford in March is 1.61 inches. The Coast can see 3 - 5 inches of rain, and the mountains can still get 2 - 4 feet of snowfall.
As I said, spring arrives in March. Meteorological spring began on Friday March 1st. Seasonal spring will arrive at 2:58 in the afternoon Oregon time on Wednesday the 20th. One other thing to note about the arrival of spring this year is this. A fuill moon will happen. For the first time in nearly 40 years, the spring equinox will occur on the same day as March’s Full Worm Moon. The last time that these two events landed on the same date was on March 20, 1981, though they did come close again in March 2000, separated by a span of only four hours.
But that’s not all: March’s full Moon will also be a supermoon, meaning that it will be slightly larger and brighter than most of the other full Moons this year.
The outlook for our weather for the later half of March is that we are expected to be below average for temps, and above average for precipitation. This means that the current very spring like weather we are enjoying is likely to be replaced by more frequent appearances of much more winter like weather. It looks like temps will be running anywhere from 5 to 15 degrees below average for our highs. Overnight lows are not expected to be too far below average because we expect to see persistent cloud cover that keeps overnight temps from dropping as much as they could otherwise. And, as we start approaching fruit trees budding out, that is an important thing to know. For areas west of the Cascades it looks like we will be seeing a fair amount of days with temps in the 50s and 60s. East of the Cascades expect to see 40s and 50s.
Rain and snow are expected to be arriving. We could be seeing some especially active weather just in time to put a damper on Spring Break the last week of the month. For the mountains snow levels will be running around 4000 to 5000 feet as it appears now. The odds of sustained low elevation snows gets longer and longer by the day. But, should a really cold system arrive out of the Gulf of Alaska, that would still be possible.