“In like a lion, out like a lamb!” March is well known for its temperamental nature. Will this old proverb prove true this year? Find out in our March Forecast!
March 2023 Weather Predictions
While there will be some pockets of chill across New England, Florida, and parts of the Great Lakes, the vast majority of the U.S. (including Alaska and Hawaii) is looking at a pretty mild, even-tempered March overall. For many areas, there will be some early tastes of spring. Across Canada, near- to below-normal temperatures are expected from Atlantic Canada back through Quebec, Ontario, and the Northwest Territories. Above-normal temperatures are forecast elsewhere.
Looking at precipitation, near- to above-normal precipitation is expected in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, perhaps a sign of a late-season coastal storm or two. On the flip side, much of the Southeast, Great Lakes, and Plains will be on the drier side. Near- or above-normal precipitation is forecast from the Rockies back through the Southwest, while the Pacific Northwest will likely end up a little drier. Alaska and Hawaii will see near- or below-normal precipitation. In Canada, most areas will see above-normal precipitation in March, although we could see some drier pockets across Quebec and the Northwest Territories.
→ See our long-range weather predictions for your region!
Notable Dates in March
Texas Independence Day—March 2—looks to be a sunny, chilly one across the Lone Star State. The 2nd is also Read Across America Day, when in the Southeast it will be an especially good day to curl up inside with a book because there will be the potential for some rain. Although temperatures are going to be on the chilly side across much of the East, they will be a bit milder toward the Upper Midwest—albeit probably still a little too cool for doing any outside reading. Much of the West will be on the cooler side of average, with some rain and mountain snow showers extending from the Rockies into the Southwest.
Looking ahead to St. Patrick’s Day on the 17th, there could be some late-season snow on the shamrocks across New England, keeping the skiers happy deep into March. Farther south, there will be the potential for some rain and even some downpours from the mid-Atlantic into the Appalachians. Meanwhile, warm sunshine is expected across the Southeast, in contrast to unsettled skies in the Plains and West, where there will be some showers lurking. In Canada, there will be pockets of rain and snow showers in both western and eastern areas, but the Prairies and much of the middle part of the country will be dry.
For Seward’s Day in Alaska on the 27th, there will be some spotty snow showers across northern parts of the state, but most areas will be dry and on the mild side.
“In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb”
Now back to this proverb. If you think about it, it makes sense for March. It’s a transitional month starting with winter and ending with spring.
Where did this proverb come from?
It’s appeared over the centuries. John Ray (1627–1705) was a naturalist who wrote, “March hack ham [hackande = annoying] comes in like a lion, goes out like a lamb.” This is published in the “Catalogue of English Proverbs” in 1670. The phrase “March came in like a lion” shows up in Ames Almanac in 1740.
A favorited theory (which fits the Almanac) is that the proverb is based on astronomy and the positions of the constellations. At the beginning of the year, we have Leo the Lion (eastern horizon); by the end of March, it’s Aries the Ram (western horizon).
There have also been religious associations: Jesus arrives as the sacrificial lamb at Easter, but will return as the Lion of Judah. Weather-wise, this means a false spring.
Of course, the Almanac has many other March proverbs in its archives. Here are a couple that have lasted the ages:
- So many mists in March you see,
So many frosts in May will be.
- March comes in with adders’ heads and goes out with peacocks’ tails.
They aren’t quite as memorable as the lion and the lamb!
Spring Weather On the Way
Spring starts officially on Monday, March 20, 2023—the date of the spring equinox! This year, we’re expecting the season to be milder and wetter for most. Read our full forecast here: 2023 Spring Forecast