Whereas the USA and Canada saw winter return with a vengeance in mid-to-late February, by the middle of March it experienced far more erratic weather, with droughts, heat waves, storms and then, just as suddenly in some areas, more snowfall. Meanwhile, the cherry blossom trees of Washington, DC bloomed weeks early due to the unusually warm weather. Indeed, Spring’s early arrival allowed farmers in New Jersey to get into the fields two weeks early but forced them to deal with an increase of crop-eating insects due to the mild winter. Overall, it was a very warm March, with dozens of record temperatures being set.
In other parts of the world, the warm weather had troubling effects. In Morocco, droughts caused the country’s cereal harvests to falter. Northern Mexico experienced its worst drought in 71 years, causing a severe shortage of food and water across the country. Meanwhile, Vietnam braced itself for Tropical Storm Pakhar, and Fiji experienced flash floods. However, just when it had seemed that Spring had come for good, citizens of western Serbia experienced large snowfalls, and in Scotland snow fell just days after record-breaking heat waves.
Thus, to call the weather over the past six weeks “erratic” seems like an understatement. It’s a period that has seen record heat waves and snow storms, and droughts and floods, often in the same places.