Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Melbourne, FL

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NOUS42 KMLB 020209
PNSMLB

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Melbourne FL
1009 PM EDT Wed Apr 1 2020

...March 2020 was the Warmest and One of the Driest on Record for
Much of East Central Florida...

The long-lived overall pattern of above normal warmth that has
persisted across the region, strengthened into March as a dominant
ridge aloft largely prevented cold fronts from moving through
central Florida. This led to monthly average temperatures that
ranked as the warmest on record for March across much of east
central Florida. The previously mentioned ridge also suppressed
rainfall development across the state, with much of the area seeing
little to no rainfall for the month until the last few hours of the
31st, when a band of showers and isolated storms brought some last
minute rainfall to the state. Despite this precipitation, March 2020
still ended up being one of the driest on record for many locations
in the area.


...Temperatures...

March actually started off colder than normal, with morning lows on
the 1st in the upper 30s to low 40s, continuing a cooler pattern
that developed into late February. These temperatures were actually
the coldest to occur during the month. However, a warm up then
followed with highs reaching the upper 80s to low 90s by the 4th and
5th, breaking daily record highs across the region. The only cold
front to move through the area during the month, crossed central
Florida early on the 6th and only briefly reduced temperatures. The
coolest highs observed during the month actually occurred behind
this frontal passage on the 7th, with temperatures only reaching the
upper 50s to mid 60s for most sites that day.

Temperatures from that point forward only continued to increase
across the area as a more dominant ridge aloft blocked any
additional cold fronts from moving through central Florida. From mid
to late month highs generally stayed in the 80s, with low 90s
occurring at times, especially across the interior toward the end of
March. Overnight lows also remained quite mild, in the 60s for most
nights, and at times not dropping below the 70 degree mark. These
well above normal temperatures tied or broke numerous daily high and
warm minimum temperature records (see list below), especially at
Leesburg which set or tied 14 record highs and 7 record warm minimum
temperatures total. In fact, on the 28th, Leesburg set both their
warmest high temperature and warmest minimum temperature for March,
with a high of 92 degrees (which was reached again on the 30th), and
a low of 72 degrees. Vero Beach and Fort Pierce also tied their
record warmest temperature for March on the 31st, with a high of 93
degrees at both locations.

The intense and unrelenting warmer pattern generated monthly average
temperatures that were around 5 to 8 degrees above normal, and also
ranked as the warmest on record for March at Daytona Beach,
Leesburg, Sanford and Orlando. In fact, Leesburg and Sanford`s
average temperature values for March 2020 well exceeded their
previous records by over a degree! Influence from the east coast sea
breeze helped moderate afternoon highs at Melbourne, Vero Beach, and
Fort Pierce, so average temperatures for the month did not rank as
high as the other sites, but were still within their respective top
10 warmest.


Daily Record Temperatures for the Month:

Daytona Beach:
- March 5th: Record high of 89 degrees. Previous record was 87
degrees last set in 2015.
- March 31st: Tied record high of 90 degrees last set in 1954.

Leesburg:
- March 4th: Record high of 88 degrees. Previous record was 87
degrees last set in 1997.
- March 5th: Record high of 89 degrees. Previous record was 88
degrees last set in 1989. Also, set record warm low of 69 degrees.
Previous record was 67 degrees last set in 2003.
- March 14th: Tied record high of 88 degrees last set in 1973.
- March 15th: Record high of 88 degrees. Previous record was 87
degrees last set in 2015.
- March 18th: Tied record warm low of 68 degrees last set in 1965.
- March 19th: Tied record high of 88 degrees last set in 2003.
- March 21st: Tied record high of 88 degrees last set in 1986.
- March 22nd: Record high of 88 degrees. Previous record was 87
degrees last set in 1982.
- March 23rd: Record high of 90 degrees. Previous record was 86
degrees last set in 2012. Also, set record warm low of 70 degrees.
Previous record was 68 degrees last set in 2012.
- March 25th: Record warm low of 70 degrees. Previous record was 67
degrees last set in 2005.
- March 26th: Tied record high of 87 degrees last set in 1965. Also,
set record warm low of 70 degrees. Previous record was 68 degrees
last set in 1997.
- March 27th: Record high of 90 degrees. Previous record was 89
degrees last set in 2011. Also, tied record warm low of 71 degrees
last set in 2016.
- March 28th: Record high of 92 degrees. Previous record was 89
degrees set in 1991. This also broke the record high temperature for
the month of March at this site of 91 degrees, set on March 30th,
1991. Also, set record warm low of 72 degrees. Previous record was
70 degrees last set in 1994. This also tied for the warmest minimum
temperature on record in March at this site, last set on March 20th,
2003.
- March 29th: Record high of 91 degrees. Previous record was 90
degrees last set in 1991.
- March 30th: Record high of 92 degrees. Previous record was 91
degrees last set in 1991.
- March 31st: Tied record high of 88 degrees last set in 2016.

Sanford:
- March 5th: Record high of 91 degrees. Previous record was 90
degrees last set in 1997. Also, set record warm low of 70 degrees.
Previous record was 67 degrees last set in 1989.
- March 23rd: Record high of 89 degrees. Previous record was 87
degrees last set in 1982. Also, set record warm low of 69 degrees.
Previous record was 68 degrees last set in 1952.
- March 26th: Record warm low of 69 degrees. Previous record was 68
degrees last set in 2016.
- March 28th: Record high of 93 degrees. Previous record was 91
degrees last set in 2009.
- March 29th: Record high of 92 degrees. Previous record was 91
degrees last set in 1994.
- March 30th: Record high of 93 degrees. Previous record was 91
degrees last set in 2000. Also, tied record warm low of 68 degrees
last set in 1989.

Orlando:
- March 4th: Record high of 90 degrees. Previous record was 88
degrees last set in 1989.
- March 5th: Record high of 92 degrees. Previous record was 90
degrees last set in 1929. Also, tied record warm low of 69 degrees
last set in 1977.
- March 26th: Record warm low of 71 degrees. Previous record was 68
degrees last set in 2005.
- March 28th: Record high of 93 degrees. Previous record was 92
degrees last set in 1994.
- March 31st: Record warm low of 70 degrees. Previous record was 69
degrees last set in 1970.

Melbourne:
- March 5th: Record high of 90 degrees. Previous record was 88
degrees last set in 2015.
- March 17th: Record warm low of 72 degrees. Previous record was 70
degrees last set in 2014.

Vero Beach:
- March 4th: Record high of 90 degrees. Previous record was 89
degrees last set in 2001.
- March 5th: Record high of 91 degrees. Previous record was 89
degrees last set in 2003.
- March 17th: Record warm low of 72 degrees. Previous record was 70
degrees last set in 1990.
- March 25th: Record high of 91 degrees. Previous record was 90
degrees last set in 1975.
- March 31st: Record high of 93 degrees. Previous record was 90
degrees last set in 1975. This also tied the record high temperature
for the month of March at this site, last set on March 20th, 2003.

Fort Pierce:
- March 5th: Record high of 90 degrees. Previous record was 89
degrees last set in 2015.
- March 25th: Record high of 91 degrees. Previous record was 90
degrees last set in 1980.
- March 31st: Record high of 93 degrees. Previous record was 90
degrees last set in 1993. This also tied the record high temperature
for the month of March at this site, last set on March 24th, 1908.


Average temperatures for March 2020 at the primary climates across
east central Florida are as follows (rankings provided if in the top
10):

- Daytona Beach had a monthly average temperature of 71.0 degrees
Fahrenheit, which was 6.7 degrees above normal. This ranks as the
warmest average temperature for March on record at this site, with
records extending back to 1923. The previous record was 70.1 degrees
set in March of 1945.

- Leesburg had a monthly average temperature of 74.0 degrees
Fahrenheit, which was 8.1 degrees above normal. This ranks as the
warmest average temperature for March on record at this site, with
records extending back to 1958. The previous record was 72.3 degrees
set in March of 2012.

- Sanford had a monthly average temperature of 73.6 degrees
Fahrenheit, which was 7.0 degrees above normal. This ranks as the
warmest average temperature for March on record at this site, with
records extending back to 1948. The previous record was 72.3 degrees
set in March of 2003.

- Orlando had a monthly average temperature of 74.0 degrees
Fahrenheit, which was 7.1 degrees above normal. This ranks as the
warmest average temperature for March on record at this site, with
records extending back to 1892. The previous record was 73.7 degrees
set in March of 1907.

- Melbourne had a monthly average temperature of 71.2 degrees
Fahrenheit, which was 5.3 degrees above normal. This ranks as the
6th warmest average temperature for March on record at this site,
with records extending back to 1937.

- Vero Beach had a monthly average temperature of 72.6 degrees
Fahrenheit, which was 5.2 degrees above normal. This ranks as the
4th warmest average temperature for March on record at this site,
with records extending back to 1942.

- Fort Pierce had a monthly average temperature of 71.3 degrees
Fahrenheit, which was 4.1 degrees above normal. This ties as the
10th warmest average temperature for March on record at this site,
also set during March of 1908, with records extending back to 1901.



...Rainfall...

Only one cold front completely crossed the area in March, during the
early morning of the 6th. The scattered showers that developed with
this boundary only produced very light rainfall amounts. Then for
much of the remainder of the month shower development was largely
suppressed from a more dominant ridge aloft, with only a few periods
of isolated, light showers pushing onshore. Right up almost to the
end of the month, much of the area had little to no rainfall, with
total amounts generally less than a tenth of an inch. These values
would have ranked as the driest on record for March at many
locations. However, during the evening of the 31st, a band of
showers and isolated storms crossed the area ahead of an approaching
weak cold front. These showers made it as far south as Brevard and
Osceola counties before the month ended, and produced enough
additional precipitation to alter these rankings. However, despite
this last minute rainfall, March 2020 was still within the top ten
driest on record for all primary climate sites.


Daily Record Rainfall for the Month:

- No daily rainfall records set at any of the primary climate sites.


March 2020 rainfall totals for the primary climate sites across
east central Florida are as follows (ranking provided if in the top
10):

- Daytona Beach received 0.30 inches of rain for the month, which
was 3.94 inches below normal. This ranks as the 3rd lowest rainfall
total for March on record for this site, with records going back to
1923.

- Leesburg received 0.23 inches of rain for the month, which was
4.10 inches below normal. This ranks as the 3rd lowest rainfall
total for March on record for this site, with records going back to
1958.

- Sanford received 0.42 inches of rain for the month, which was 3.69
inches below normal. This ranks as the 5th lowest rainfall total for
March on record for this site, with records going back to 1948.

- Orlando received 0.34 inches of rain for the month, which was 3.43
inches below normal. This ranks as the 8th lowest rainfall total for
March on record at this site, with records going back to 1892.

- Melbourne received 0.10 inches of rain for the month, which was
3.18 inches below normal. This ties as the 2nd lowest rainfall total
for March on record at this site, also set during March of 1974,
with records going back to 1937.

- Vero Beach received 0.02 inches of rain for the month, which was
4.10 inches below normal. This ranks as the lowest rainfall total
for March on record for this site, with records going back to 1942.
The previous record was 0.09 inches in March of 1956.

- Fort Pierce received 0.02 inches of rain for the month, which was
3.72 inches below normal. This ranks as the lowest rainfall total
for March on record for this site, with records going back to 1901.
The previous record was 0.19 inches in March of 1917.


Cooperative Observer Station Rainfall Rankings (Note: These totals
for March end around 7 AM on the 31st, so it does not include the
rainfall that occurred later that evening for some sites):

- Clermont had no rainfall for the month, which ranks as the lowest
rainfall total for March on record at this site, with records going
back to 1948. The previous record was 0.02 inches in March of 2006.

- DeLand had no rainfall for the month, which ranks as the lowest
rainfall total for March on record at this site, with records going
back to 1908. The previous record was 0.36 inches in March of 2006.

- Titusville received 0.02 inches of rain for the month, which ranks
as the 2nd lowest rainfall total for March on record at this site,
with records going back to 1901.

- Stuart received 0.04 inches of rain for the month, which ranks as
the 3rd lowest rainfall total for March on record at this site, with
records going back to 1935.


Below is a list of observed precipitation totals and rainfall
statistics for select sites across east central Florida for
March 2020:

Station       March 2020       Normal      Departure    Percent of
               Rainfall       Rainfall    From Normal     Normal

Daytona Beach    0.30"          4.24"       -3.94"           7%
(DAB)
Orlando          0.34"          3.77"       -3.43"           9%
(MCO)
Melbourne        0.10"          3.28"       -3.18"           3%
(MLB)
Vero Beach       0.02"          4.12"       -4.10"           0%
(VRB)
Clermont*        0.00"          4.01"       -4.01"           0%
(CLRF1)
Leesburg         0.23"          4.33"       -4.10"           5%
(LEE)
DeLand*          0.00"          4.30"       -4.30"           0%
(DELF1)
Sanford          0.42"          4.11"       -3.69"          10%
(SFB)
Titusville*      0.02"          3.92"       -3.90"           1%
(TITF1)
Fort Pierce      0.02"          3.74"       -3.72"           1%
(FPR)
Stuart*          0.04"          5.00"       -4.96"           1%
(STRF1)

*Rainfall totals for the month end around 7 AM on the 31st.

For more local climate information, please visit our web page at
http://weather.gov/mlb and click on the "Climate" icon toward the
bottom of the page.

$$

Weitlich


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