Scorching end to winter shatters 110-year record

By Mary Shirk

Record temperatures Sunday gave the area a taste of summer before spring even started.

Sunday’s official high of 90 degrees in Manhattan set a new record for March 19, K-State climatologist Mary Knapp said. That shattered the previous record high of 81, which was set in 1907.

The unseasonable warmth lingered into Monday.

“What is incredible is this morning’s low (50) was just about our normal high,” Knapp said. The average high in March is 59.

It has been an interesting two weeks of weather in the Little Apple. On March 11, it snowed. Saturday’s low was 22 degrees, and the high was 66.

March and April are typically volatile months for Kansas. Manhattan experienced a temperature swing of 68 degrees between early

Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon, Knapp said.

“This weather is typical for all of the central plains,” she said.

A record warm day in March does not mean a warmer than average summer. Knapp said that according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the chance of having a warmer than average summer is 50/50.

“There are years we have warm winters and the summer is cool so we end up with a near normal average temperature for the year.”

There could be more cold weather in the months ahead, Knapp said. The average day for the last freeze is April 7, but it has been as late as the end of May.

Temperatures are expected to be near normal with wetter-than-average weather over the next week, Knapp said.

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