In this week’s “Two Degree Difference” we are digging deeper into the bigger picture of the climate crisis. We’re expanding our horizons by talking about the entire United States during the month of March as there were many extreme events that were only made worse by climate change. 

A lot of fuel for these extreme events about to be mentioned were derived from the continued warming climate and bouts of drier than normal weather. For example, the average temperature in the U.S. during March was around 44 degrees. That was more than 2 and a half degrees warmer than average, ranking in the warmest third of our 128 year record.

This past March was also ranked in the driest third of that same historical record. As a result of a warmer and drier March, drought and wildfire threats increased earlier than usual. Just southwest of Dallas, Texas there was a wildfire that scorched over 54,000 acres.

The drought out west worsened, too. Even Hawaii experienced abnormally dry conditions resulting in 35% of the islands reporting severe to extreme drought. That was just the dry side of the month…

The more active side came with the above average temperatures, which added fuel to what was an early start to severe weather season. Iowa experienced a rather large severe weather outbreak that resulted in the first EF4 tornado since 2013. It was also the second longest tornado track since 1980.

Further north, the warmer than normal March resulted in a conjuring of moisture in Alaska where they experienced their wettest January through March on record. That is a timeframe when there should be lots of snow adding up, not rain.

Overall, our seasons continue to warm and the impacts on the entire United States are more than noticeable. It’s hard not to think that this process will continue to intensify unless immediate action is taken to curb this climate crisis.