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Record setting weather

Dale Knutsen
Special to Feather Publishing

It isn’t your imagination. March snowfall really was extraordinary. In fact, the snowfall received in the Lake Almanor Basin during March 2011 easily broke the old record for the month.

The monitoring site on the West Shore recorded a total of 131 inches of snowfall during March, which is now the new record for the month. That’s just an inch shy of 11 feet of snow, most of which arrived during the nine-day period March 18 – 26.

That total is more than six times the average for March, and basically amounts to receiving an average year’s worth of snow in just one month.

The season total snowfall was 318.5 inches at the end of March (more than 26 feet), which is 252 percent of average for this point in the season.

March also brought a modest amount of rain to the Basin. Between rain and the water content of snow, some 11.09 inches of total precipitation were added, which is well above the 4.35-inch average for the month.

This brings our season total precipitation to 38.91 inches, or 135 percent of average.

The temperatures during the month were an interesting lot. Low temperatures averaged about 2 degrees higher than “normal,” largely due to the extensive cloud cover, but our high temperatures averaged about 5 degrees lower than “normal.” Taken in sum, the Basin was a bit cooler than “normal” for the month.

April typically is a much less active month when it comes to precipitation. On average, the Basin receives about 2 inches of precipitation during April, including the water content of about 7-1/2 inches of snowfall.

However, our recent experience suggests that averages are merely historical statistics and clearly not indicative of what might occur during any particular month.

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