Weather Facts

What is the Weather Like During the Month of March in Hampton Roads?

The weather during the month of March is usually very changeable with wide swings in temperature. It is a transitional month as winter slowly loses its grip on the Mid-Atlantic States. Due to the increasing solar radiation, the average high temperature climbs from the low to mid 50ís at the beginning of the month to the low 60ís by the end of the month. Weather systems can be quite strong during March causing intense storm systems to develop. This is due to the extreme differences in air masses during March and the strong upper-level winds. The jet stream is normally quite strong and frequently dips far to the south across the U.S. The increasing temperatures across the south cause a very large temperature gradient since the cold air masses coming down from Canada and the Arctic can still be every bit as cold as they were during the middle of winter. This sometimes results in extreme temperature differences across the strong frontal boundaries that frequently develop. March is a windy month due to primarily two reasons. The first is the strength of the pressure systems that move across the country. The second reason is that the stronger sun destabilizes the atmosphere allowing stronger winds aloft to mix down to the surface. In other words, the sun heats the ground and then the air at the lowest layer becomes warmer than the air above it. This warmer and lighter air rises up and cooler air has to come down to replace it. This, in effect, causes the strong winds aloft to come down to the surface. This is the reason why the afternoon is normally the windiest time of day. The chance of snow rapidly decreases during March. So, all in all, March can be a volatile month, but there can be some really nice days, too.