Record weather events for the week of 25 March 2012 - 1 April 2012. wx.hamweather.com

By Brian K. Sullivan
1 April 2012

Chicago had its all-time warmest March, while New York’s Central Park had its second-hottest as thousands of new weather records were set or tied across the U.S., according to the National Weather Service.

The average temperature for the month in Chicago was 53.5 degrees Fahrenheit (11.9 Celsius). That topped the previous mark of 48.6 degrees, set in 1910 and matched in 1945, the weather service said, citing data compiled since 1873.

In New York, the average temperature was 50.9 degrees, which was 8.9 degrees above normal, while below the record 51.1 degrees in 1945, according to the weather service.

“To put it in perspective, if it was April, it would still be in the top 10, as far as warmest. It is mind-boggling,” said Tom Kines, a meteorologist for AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania. “There are many areas across the upper Midwest that have had their warmest March ever. That seems to be where the core of the warmth was.”

Across the U.S., 7,577 all-time daily high temperatures were set or matched in March, according to the National Climate Data Center in Asheville, North Carolina. The warm weather contributed to a decline in natural gas prices, as less of the energy was needed to heat homes and business. […]

Apple and peach trees have been blooming across the Midwest and eastern U.S. and are also susceptible to freezing temperatures, according to the center. The warm nighttime temperatures also have cut the amount of maple syrup production in Wisconsin because less sap is running from the trees.

Apple growers in New York were assessing damage to their trees after temperatures fell into the 20s earlier this week.

Throughout the middle of March, temperatures were 20 to 30 degrees above normal, according to a statement by the Midwest Regional Climate Center. […]

'Mind Boggling' Warmth Set or Tied 7,577 Highs

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