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March ends up colder than February, and almost January

A person walks along Stony Brook Harbor in

A person walks along Stony Brook Harbor in Stony Brook on a foggy, rainy morning on Monday, March 27, 2017. Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

For the second time in 33 years, March has ended up colder than the normally cooler February.

The month just-ended came in at an average temperature of 37.1 degrees, compared with 37.8 degrees for this year’s, admittedly, mild February.

That would be at Long Island MacArthur Airport, for which the Island’s official records have been maintained since 1984.

The first time was, coincidentally, 1984 when February reached 38.1 degrees and March, 34.6, said Jessica Spaccio, climatologist with the Northeast Regional Climate Center, based at Cornell University.

As of last week there had also been potential for March to outdo January, cold-wise, which would have been a first for that record-keeping span. That, however, ended up being too far a reach, even with January’s mild, 5.6 degrees above normal temperature.

The monthly norms are: 30.6 degrees for January; 32.8 for February; and 39.3 for March. So, yes, January and February were well above normal, with March a little more than two degrees colder than normal.

The warmth in February was “partly due to southerly winds blowing mild air usually reserved for areas farther south to northern regions,” according to an article on, which is under the umbrella of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “Helping to make that air even warmer than normal were warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures across the western Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.”


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