March sets new record highs for Clovis

Three new records for daily high temperatures in Clovis were set in March, including Saturday when the thermometer peaked at 87 degrees, one degree higher than the previous mark set in 1946, according to Accuweather.com

According to the website, there were 23 days in March when the high was above the historical average high — which ranges from 60 to 67 degrees, including 14 days when the high mark was more than 15 degrees above average.

Last month was the second hottest March in Clovis in terms of average high temperature (70.8 degrees) in more than 50 years, according to Weather Warehouse, whose records go back to 1959.

With a 71.3 degree average temperature, last year had the hottest March in 53 years.

AccuWeather meteorologist Steve Travis said March 2011, which produced one record high, had a gradual and prolonged stretch of slightly above average temperatures, while temperature swings were more extreme this March.

Travis said the warm, dry weather in the High Plains is due to a La Nina pattern, which typically keeps cool, wet Pacific air pushed north of New Mexico and the southern states.

Meteorologist Mike Pigott said April weather will likely be similar to March, with long periods of sustained warmth.

Record-breaking day

Clovis wasn't the only New Mexico city to tie of break a record on the last day of March, according to the National Weather Service:

Location – Saturday – Prev. record

  • Farmington airport – 79 – 78 (1966)
  • Jemez Springs – 79 – 77 (2002)
  • Gallup airport – 75 – 73 (2004)
  • Santa Fe airport – 78 7- 6 (1946)
  • Ruidoso – 76 – 74 (1978 )
  • Capitan – 79 – 73 (2010)
  • Raton airport – 84 – 80 (2011 )
  • Las Vegas airport – 78 – 78 (1978)
  • Tucumcari airport – 91 – 88 (1978)
  • Roswell airport – 92 – 91 (1946)

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