I re-write the old saying about March this year.
‘March came in like a tortoise and went out like a polar bear’!
The hibernational NE wind weather at the end of
February continued for the first three days of March, and the minimum temperature on the 3rd of -5.2C was both the month’s coldest night, but also half a degree lower than any other night’s low this past winter. Actually, the figure is not exceptional, March 2nd 2004 saw a reading two degrees lower for example. Then there was a brief burst of Spring with a high of 14.5C on the 5th. This allowed us to have our lunch sitting out on our field, and this was virtually the same day as we ventured out for the first of many such lunches in 2012. But this was certainly not to be in 2013. Next followed four days with frequent rainfall, calm winds and mild nights, before the wind swung back to the
Northeast for several days of biting winds, cold days and freezing nights.
The weather turned wet and a little milder over the
weekend of the 15-17th, and this led to a further rain event on the 21st when 36.3mm fell. There were two other heavy falls prior to this, alongside ten other days with recordable rainfall. The monthly total came out at a well-above-average 108.3mm. which made this the wettest March for five years. No rain fell after the 23rd.
The low pressure system that gave us so much rain was
to our south and left much of the country under the Northeast wind that was soon to become our ‘guest’. By the 24th under cloud, the maximum temperature reached just 2.2C. The final week brought frosts every night and a piercingly cold wind, which was just relieved on some days when the stronger ‘spring’ sunshine managed to break through the clouds.
The mean temperature for March was exactly the same as
February’s below average figure had been, just over 4C. Nights averaged just below freezing with my ‘low’ reading minimum thermometer. This meant that on average the temperature was only above 6C-the temperature that grass starts to grow- for six hours a day. No wonder Spring is ‘on hold.’ This looks like being the coldest March since 1962 nationwide. It was certainly in marked contrast with March 2012, whose average temperature was higher than this year’s average maximum. It was also
nearly six times as wet.
Peter at Pottlelake