With March comes the start of spring (at least astronomically) and for those of us in Northeast Ohio, the fact that the month is named for the Roman god of war is very appropriate in that March is truly a battleground weather wise. Long story short, one has no idea what to expect other than variety.
The March weather is one of extremes as winter and spring begin their battle over the weather patterns. The bitterly cold, cloud bringing arctic blasts that often came in quick succession from December through February will still come through, albeit less frequently. Similarly, strong high pressure warm fronts from the South will also start coming our way more often this month, bringing the first extended warm strings of days of the year. Unfortunately, when warm and cold fronts mix, storms, and clouds, often result.
Focusing on the good, the warm fronts from down South often will bring clear skies thanks to the fact that they mostly hare of the high pressure variety. Result?: March will often bring our first days-long string of clear nights of the year.
In terms of temperatures, the average highs will rise by about 10 degrees as the month progresses, with the lows following a similar course. Remember, while March will bring warmer temperatures (which can seem downright balmy after a freezing cold winter), that warmth will go away fast on a clear march night, so don't forget the winter coat when out at the telescope.
In conclusion, March can bring a day of 80 degrees and, two days later, 8 inches of snow. The great variance of March weather makes astronomical viewing still remain at somewhat of a premium.
Want to do some sky watching in the Cleveland area? As the last part of the puzzle, be sure to keep an eye on the Cleveland weather forecast and, for hour-by-hour cloud predictions, the Cleveland Clear Sky Clock if you plan to head out and look at the stars this coming week. Live somewhere else? Find a clock and see if it will be clear near you.
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Bodzash Photography & Astronomy