Records reveal third warmest March on record

Thursday 05th Apr 2012 by theWeather Club

For many in the UK the weather during March felt more like summer than spring. High pressure dominated throughout most of the month giving very settled and often sunny weather. The sunniest period took place during the last two weeks when temperatures soared to the low 20s a good 10 degrees above the average. This led to the third warmest March on record and third sunniest March also. Unfortunately for most people who were hoping for some rain, it was the fifth driest on record.

The temperature across the UK for the month was 7.7ºC and only 1938 and 1957 have seen higher March averages, with March 1938 experiencing an average of 8 ºC. Scotland experienced average temperatures 7ºC and broke their all time March record three days in a row with the highest temperature of 23.6ºC being recorded at Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, on the 27th.

As seven water companies in the south and east of England introduce hose pipe bans on 5th April and drought conditions take hold, the lack of rainfall during March has just added to the long term shortage. Only 38% of the normal amount rain fell during the month with a measly total of 36.4mm of rain. This came after the past two winters were unusually dry, leaving reservoirs, aquifers and rivers below normal levels.

The month was also far sunnier than normal, with England getting 156.5 hours of sunshine - around 50 hours more than average for the time of year. The driest and the sunniest March both occurred in 1929, with just 17mm of rainfall and 169.5 hours of sunshine recorded. But with a bank holiday looming the weather was bound to change and even snow was in the forecast.