It Was a Record-Cold March From Northern Great Lakes to Northern New England

Chris Dolce and Jon Erdman
Published: April 2, 2014

While typically cold, parts of the northern Great Lakes and northern New England shivered through a record cold March in 2014.

March 2014 Temperature Departures

Departure from average temperature March 1 to March 30, 2014. Darker blue and purple shaded areas show locations that have seen a March with temperatures well below average. (NOAA/CPC)

Specifically, the following cities set a new cold standard for March monthly mean temperatures, according to final statistics from the National Weather Service:

  • Caribou, Maine
  • Bangor, Maine (tied)
  • Barre/Montpelier, Vt.
  • Glens Falls, N.Y.​
  • Washington (Dulles Int'l Airport)
  • Gaylord, Mich.
  • Houghton Lake, Mich.

Caribou, Maine chalked up 14 days with low temperatures below zero, tying their record from 1939.

Houghton Lake, Mich. just missed tying its all-time March record daily low on March 3 (-24 degrees), then saw highs rocket to 50 degrees one week later.

Dulles Int'l Airport topped its previous record cold March from 1984, however, records there date only to 1963.

Several other cities registered a March among their top three coldest on record, including:

  • Concord, N.H. (second coldest)
  • Flint, Mich. (second coldest)
  • International Falls, Minn. (second coldest)
  • Watertown, N.Y. (third coldest)
  • Marquette, Mich. (third coldest)

Concord, N.H. just missed tying its coldest March by one-tenth of a degree. Watertown, N.Y. dipped into the -20s for only the third time on record in March.

While only ranking as Marquette's third coldest March, only two late 19th century Marches were colder (1888 and 1885). 

In International Falls, Minn., only March 1955 was colder than March 2014. The self-proclaimed "Nation's Icebox" dipped to a numbing 33 degrees below zero on March 3, tallying 16 days with lows below zero. 

Incidentally, while March wasn't near record cold, the December-March period in Chicago was the coldest on record, topping the previous record from 1903-04, not to mention the notoriously cold winters of the late 1970s (1977-78 and 1978-79).

(MORE: 10 Cities Winter Spared | 10 Worst Winter Cities)

MORE: Largest Temperature Ranges in the 50 States

#50: Hawaii

#50: Hawaii

Hawaii has the nation's narrowest temperature range of any state thanks to is tropical location surrounded by water. The state record high was set in April 1931, and the state record low was set in May 1979 at an elevation of 13,733 feet.

  • #50: Hawaii
  • #49: Florida
  • #48: Delaware
  • #47: Georgia
  • #46: Louisiana
  • #44 (tie): South Carolina
  • #44 (tie): Rhode Island
  • #43: Mississippi
  • #42: Connecticut
  • #41: Alabama
  • #40: Virginia
  • #39: Massachusetts
  • #38: Texas
  • #36 (tie): New Jersey
  • #36 (tie): North Carolina
  • #35: Tennessee
  • #32 (tie): Maryland
  • #32 (tie): West Virginia
  • #32 (tie): Arkansas
  • #30 (tie): Kentucky
  • #30 (tie): Oklahoma
  • #28 (tie): Ohio
  • #28 (tie): Indiana
  • #26 (tie): Pennsylvania
  • #26 (tie): Illinois
  • #25: Maine
  • #24: New Hampshire
  • #23: Vermont
  • #22: Missouri
  • #21: New York
  • #20: Kansas
  • #19: Michigan
  • #17 (tie): Iowa
  • #17 (tie): Nebraska
  • #16: Washington
  • #15: Utah
  • #14: Arizona
  • #13: Wisconsin
  • #12: New Mexico
  • #11: Oregon
  • #8 (tie): Colorado
  • #8 (tie): Minnesota
  • #8 (tie): Nevada
  • #6 (tie): Idaho
  • #6 (tie): South Dakota
  • #5: California
  • #4: Alaska
  • #2 (tie): North Dakota
  • #2 (tie): Wyoming
  • #1: Montana

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