LONG RANGE FORECAST THROUGH THE END OF MARCH - 3/10/2018
March is another bridge month. It takes us from winter to spring. It can also see the first warm temperatures arrive. Typically in March, temps are in the 50s and 60s at the beginning of the month, but rise to the 60s and the low 70s by the end of the month. The all time record for March in Medford is 86 which happened in 1930. Average rainfall for Medford in March is 1.61 inches. The Coast can see 3 - 5 inches of rain, and the mountains can usually get 2 - 4 feet of snow. As I said, spring arrives in March on the 20th.
This year however, we are not going to be seeing a typical March at all. We have long been predicted to be colder than average and wetter than average. I will post graphics below that will bear that out. The current data and models have us being locked in a long term pattern that will see colder than average temps with wetter average conditions expected to persist through the end of the month. We are going to see a boost to mountain snowpacks. We are not expecting a lot of heavy rain arriving west of the Cascades. But, the Coast will be seeing times of significant rains with lesser amounts inland to the Cascades. The mountains will be seeing more snow than would be typical for sure. Every flake of it is needed. Look for snow levels to average out around 4000 feet. The bulk of the snow will be above 5000 feet. That will be great news for our ski areas that had a very late start to the season. As such both Mt. Ashland and Mt. Shasta are planning to run through April. They will have the snow for it.
As for temps, where we would normally be seeing 50s and 60s west of the Cascades transitioning to 60s and 70s, it looks like we will be seeing a lot of 50s with some 60s. East of the Cascades expect to see a lot of 40s with some 50s. Overnight lows will actually not be all that cold due to expected persistent cloud cover. That also means that frost is just not expected to be much of an issue through month end.
Here are the graphics from NOAA Climatology showing what we can expect to see.
Temperature through 3/20 Precipitation through 3/20
Temperature through 3/24 Precipitation through 3/24