Following the extended deep freeze in February, temperatures did a 180 in March and trended well above normal. A very changed jet stream pattern limited the amount of cold air making it into Texas and promoted a pattern of warmer than normal temperatures. No freezes were recorded across Central Texas or the coastal plains. The warmer than normal temperatures experienced were part of a larger pattern of above normal temperatures that covered all of the nation east of the Rockies.
For Austin Camp Mabry, the temperature averaged 64.8 degrees, which was 3.1 degrees above normal. March ranked as the 26th warmest March on Record. For Austin-Bergstrom, the temperature averaged 62.4 degrees, which was 3.2 degrees above normal. March ranked as the 32nd warmest March on record.
The same weather pattern which brought the mild temperatures also limited the number of storms and rainfall across the region. Most totals averaged between 1 and 2 inches, although some 2 inch totals did occur across parts of the middle Texas coast and the northern Hill Country. For most of the region, normal March rainfall is between 2 and 3 inches.
The following National Weather Service graphic shows the rainfall departure from normal for the month of March. Note the rain was near normal across much of the western and northern Hill Country and below normal at most other locations.
In Austin, Camp Mabry recorded a monthly total of 1.11 inches, which was 1.65 inches below normal. March 2021 ranks as the 32nd driest March on record. At Austin-Bergstrom, March rain totaled 0.70 inches, which was 2.08 inches below normal. Here, March 2021 rainfall ranks as the 12th driest on record.
The Climate Prediction Center’s update outlook for April calls for similar conditions to what occurred in March. The outlook shows increased odds temperatures will average above normal and rainfall will average below normal.