Washington: The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Monday that last March was the warmest in recorded history, creating thunderstorms and tornadoes across the country. According to NOAA, the record and near-record breaking temperatures dominated the eastern two-thirds of the country and contributed to the warmest March on record.

The country started recording temperatures in 1895.The NOAA said the average temperature of 51.1 degrees Fahrenheit (about 10 degrees Celsius) was 8.6 degrees above the 20th century average for March and 0.5 degrees warmer than the previous warmest March in 1910.A persistent weather pattern during the month led to 25 states east of the Rocky Mountains having their warmest March on record, as reported.

An additional 15 states had monthly temperatures ranking among their 10 warmest. That same pattern brought cooler-than-average conditions to the West Coast states of Washington, Oregon, and California. In addition, every state in the country experienced a record warm daily temperature during March. Hundreds of locations across the US broke their all-time March records.

The warmer-than-average conditions across the eastern US also created an environment favourable for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. According to NOAA's Storm Prediction Centre, there were 223 tornado reports during March. Majority of the tornadoes occurred March 2-3 across the Ohio Valley and southeast, which caused 40 fatalities and damages exceeding USD 1.5 billion.