The eastern U.S. experienced a rash of extreme weather in February 2017, from record warmth that has led to the early blooming of trees and plants to severe storms and deadly tornadoes. All of that strange weather brought back memories of one of the weirdest weather months in U.S. history five years ago when similar early-season events unfolded.
Persistent record warmth vaulted March 2012 to the most extreme temperature departure from average for any month on record in the Lower 48. It was 8.91 degrees Fahrenheit above the 1901-2000 average, according to NOAA’s National Centers For Environmental Information (NCEI). Twenty-five states, all of them east of the Rockies, recorded their warmest March on record.
More than 20,000 warm temperature records were broken across the U.S. in March 2012, including hundreds of monthly records. It was so warm that some places had daily lows warmer than the previous record highs for those dates. The warmth was so extreme that parts of Michigan rose above their average July high temperatures.