March: A chilly month

The groundhog lied.

Well over six weeks after the famed Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring, winter has still not released its grip on Marietta, said local weather watcher Charlie Worsham.

“There’s not much to say about March except that it was miserable,” he said.

It was the coldest March the city has seen since 1996, he said.

With an average high of 46.3 degrees, March was almost eight degrees below its normal average high.

“These were February-like temperatures, not March,” Worsham said.

It was a stark contrast to last year’s March, which tied for the hottest on record, and meant lots of early recreational activities.

Business last month was certainly not as good as last year’s business, said Jeff Neader, owner of Cone ‘N Shake on Pike Street.

“It’s been a little slow. We’re a weather driven business,” said Neader, who along with his wife, Kristina, kept the outdoor eatery open for the second winter in a row.

Even with the colder weather, several regular customers can not resist the lure of a milkshake.

With the thermometer hovering just below 50 degrees Monday, Vienna resident Randy Givens picked up his.

“I wish it was warmer,” he said.

Slowly upward creeping temperatures in the last week of March did make a difference for business, said Neader.

“It’s starting to get better,” he said.

Despite a chilly average high, March 10 did bring 70-degree weather, pointed out Worsham.

“And then we just went right back down again,” he said.

The low that same night was 39 degrees, a 34 degree difference.

The Mid-Ohio Valley was not alone when it came to an abnormally cold March.

“The whole eastern half of the country was below normal,” said Worsham, pointing to temperatures in the 20s and 30s in the typically warm state of Georgia.

March also saw less snowfall and rainfall than normal, although it did not necessarily seem like it, said Worsham.

“There were 12 different days where it rained. We just didn’t get that much at a time,” he said.

Rainfall for the month was 2.83 inches, almost exactly an inch less than the normal average 3.82 inches.

Snow, which occurred on four days, amounted to exactly 2 inches, or nine-tenths of a inch below normal for the month.

Hopefully April will bring the spring weather everyone has been anticipating, said Worsham.

“This coming weekend it’s supposed to be in the 60s, almost the 70s,” he said.

April averages a high of 66 degrees, a low of 42 degrees, 3.4 inches of rainfall and 0.6 inches of snow.