CHICAGO (STMW) – Chicago did not, it turns out, break the record for the warmest day ever in March: 88 degrees, set in 1986.

But we obliterated just about every other record for the month, which will go down as the warmest March on record — both in the city and statewide.

As the month comes to an end, the daily temperatures for Chicago are averaging about 54 degrees — 17 degrees above normal for March. The old record for the average daily temperature was 48.6, set in 1945, according National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Friedlein.

March temperatures are averaging about 12 degrees above normal in the southern part of the state and about 17 degrees above normal in the northern part, including Chicago, Friedlein said.

The city had eight days in March at 80 degrees or above. To put that in perspective, since records began in 1871, there have been a total of 10 days where March temperatures have climbed to 80 or above.

Incidentally, the highest temperature for March 2012 was 87 degrees, set on March 21.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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