March is one of the best times of the year to demonstrate the effects of different ground conditions on the air temperature.

When snow covers the ground completely, the weather remains cold. It is almost unheard of for the temperature to rise above the mid-40s when there is snow on the ground. Lately, as more dark soil has been exposed, temperatures in the 40s have become much more common.

As the snow mostly melts away in the near future, temperatures will rise into the 50s and 60s. But many fields will remain wet or even covered in water, causing another limit. We are not likely to experience temperatures in the 70s and 80s until the dark topsoil begins to dry. All of this is related to the way solar radiation is reflected, absorbed or used to evaporate water at the surface of the Earth.