March UK Weather Review

  • Flowers have been responding to the seasonal temperatures, as seen in Bidborough, Kent. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire.

    Snow was a feature at times in March, especially on the high ground of Scotland and northern England. Picture taken from upland County Durham. Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.

    Strong winds at the end of the month led to the closure of high sided vehicles on the Erskine Bridge. Photo: Mark Runnacles/PA Wire.

  • March UK Weather Review
    02.04.2015 13:23

    General Summary

    Last month’s weather was dominated by heavy rain over western Scotland between 6 and 9 March.  Other than that, the month was largely dry and quiet with temperatures and sunshine amounts fairly close to the long term average. The middle of the month was dominated by areas of high pressure which gave chilly nights and variable sunshine. The last few days saw more unsettled conditions in all areas as a westerly airflow spread bands of rain and stronger winds eastwards. The last three days of the month were windy in most areas.  


    The average daily Central England Temperature was 6.3°C, just 0.3 degC below the average for 1981-2010 (but a whole degree above the average over the last 356 years indicating a warming trend in March). Over the last 100 years, 53 Marches were colder, 44 were milder and three had the same mean temperature. Scotland averaged 5.1°C (0.9degC above average) and Northern Ireland averaged 5.8°C (0.5 deg C below average). Like many anticyclonic Marches, ground frosts occurred quite frequently.  The highest temperature of the month was 17.5°C, at Murlough, N. Ireland.


    Apart from very wet start in western Scotland, much of March was fairly dry. The England and Wales rainfall averaged 42mm, just 65% of the 30 year average. The equivalent figures for Scotland were 131mm (127% of average), but this masks a large difference between east and west. Over the 48 hours from 6am on the 6th to 6am on the 9th, Achnagart in the Western Highlands (just inland from Kyle of Lochalsh) recorded 188mm of rain. Much of western Scotland had recorded above the average rainfall for the whole month by this date.  Monthly totals across northern Scotland alone ranged from a huge 470mm at Cluanie Inn (Western Highlands) to just 23mm at Kinloss on the Moray Firth. Parts of eastern England and Scotland were even drier with less than 20mm in places.


    The average sunshine over England and Wales was 117 hours, 105% of the monthly average. The equivalent figures for Scotland were 98 hours (103%) and Northern Ireland averaged 122 hours (100%). During the period dominated by high pressure around the middle of the month, eastern England was often overcast. On the day of the solar eclipse, the 20th, the Midlands, South West and North East England, south Wales and parts of eastern Scotland were clear of cloud and had a good view of the eclipse. Monthly totals ranged from 69 hours at Eskdalemuir to as much as 172 at St Helier, Jersey. 


    By: Nick Prebble