Summer indeed arrives early in Midwest

It's been the old familiar rain around Seattle this month. In fact, as of Friday afternoon, Seattle was perched at the 5th wettest March on record, with 4th and 3rd place likely to be attained by Saturday night as rain remains in the forecast.

But the real story this March was the massive heat wave in the Midwest and New England with many areas getting summer like temperatures. More than 1,000 high temperature records were broken the week of March 13-19.

The map above shows the temperature departure from normal, courtesy of NASA's Earth Observatory Program. Pretty easy to find where to escape the winter blues this month.

Among the strange records set, Chicago was over 80 degrees every day between March 14-19 with a 9 day stretch of breaking their record daily high.

But even more strange, according to Climate Central, was that on March 18 in Rochester, Minnesota, the low temperature of 62 was warmer than the record *high* temperature for the date!

Long range models indicate more of the same for April with the 6-10, 8-14, and 30 day forecasts all keeping status quo of a chilly West Coast and sweltering Midwest.