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graphs CLIMATE-UK.COM'S REVIEW OF THE BRITISH METEOROLOGICAL SCENE
MONTHLY SUMMARY
No. 603 For MARCH 2006
COLDEST MARCH SINCE 1996. FREQUENT AND SOMETIMES HEAVY SNOWFALLS IN SCOTLAND.
Text Box: A very cold, dry, and generally cloudy easterly airflow developed on the 14th and persisted until the 23rd. Sub-zero maxima were again reported in Scotland and northern England on the 12th, 13th, 16th, 21st and 22nd, and even in southern districts highs of 2 to 5C were typical. Many places had occasional slight snow flurries, but heavier snow affected parts of northern Britain on the 14th and 22nd.

A deep depression approached the UK from the southwest on the 23rd, and from the 24th onwards a very disturbed but much warmer south to southwesterly airflow covered the British Isles. Rain fell frequently, heaviest in western districts where Capel Curig (Snowdonia) recorded 255mm of rain during the last eight days, including 64mm on the 27th alone. Hail and thunder were noted on several days, but there were occasional sunny spells too, and the temperature climbed to 13-16C daily, reaching 17.8C at Scampton (Lincs) on the 26th, while a notably high overnight minimum of 12.1C was recorded at East Malling (Kent) the following night. There was a short-lived Fen Blow in East Anglia on the 28th.

Mean temperature was generally between 0.5 and 1.5 degC below the long-term average, slightly more in northern Scotland, and as measured by the CET it was the coldest March since 1996 although only marginally colder than 2001. In East Anglia and Southeast England monthly rainfall was slightly below normal, but everywhere else it was a wet March and more than twice the usual amount of rain fell in central and southern Scotland, northern England, and north and mid Wales. Sunshine slightly exceeded the average in East Anglia and the Southeast, but was below average everywhere else with less than 60 per cent of the normal amount locally in northeast Scotland.
Text Box: The main feature of Marchs weather was an extended spell of cold and cloudy easterlies which lasted for almost two weeks during the middle of the month. The first week was also very cold, courtesy of a northerly outbreak, but a cyclonic type held sway during the second week and from the 24th onwards. On the mean monthly sea-level pressure chart, the Icelandic Low was displaced to Newfoundland, a weak Azores High was located near Madeira, and high pressure was centred near northern Greenland. The main anomaly centres were +13mbar over eastern Greenland and -12mbar between Newfoundland and the Azores, and the anomalous flow was easterly over northern and central parts of the UK, but southerly in southern districts.

The late-February Arctic outbreak lasted until the 7th. Most areas had snow showers, and these were frequent and heavy in northern and eastern Scotland where 30cm accumulated at Glenlivet (Banffshire), and also in northeast England, north Wales and the northwest Midlands. Most of the UK also had abundant sunshine and night frosts were severe. Minima below -10C were recorded early on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th, with -16.4C at Altnaharra (Sutherland) on the 3rd the lowest. Afternoon maxima below zero were reported widely in Scotland and northern England on each of the first four days, none lower than -1.3C at Fylingdales (North Yorks) on the 4th.

Atlantic fronts advancing across the country brought widespread rain, local thunder, and a general rise in temperature from the 7th to the 10th. A renewed surge of cold air, this time coming from the southeast, engaged the next Atlantic system on the 12th, resulting in widespread snow in western districts, heaviest in southwest and central Scotland where depths of at least 40cm were reported unofficially, meanwhile 30-40mm of rain fell in Northern Ireland and in Galloway.
                                                                                                                                           
    TEMPERATURE   SUNSHINE   RAINFALL        
                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                   
                                  Highest and lowest totals             Highest and lowest totals        
                                  on record for month    
Maximum fall in 24 hrs
   (beginning 09 h)
        on record for month    
Days with snow or sleet
 
Days with fog
(Vis <220 yards at 09 h)
 
                                                                                         
     
Difference from average
   
Difference from average
 
Highest maximum
   
Lowest minimum
   
No. of days with grass
  minimum below 0C
   
Days of no sunshine
 
Maximum duration
       
First year of record
         
Days of no rainfall
 (0.1 mm or less)
         
First year of record
         
Days with thunder
     
  PLACE  
Mean Maximum
   
Mean minimum
             
No. of air frosts
       
Total for month
                   
Total for month
                   
                               
% of average
                   
% of average
                 
                                                                     
                                   
Highest
   
Lowest
 
Year
             
Highest
   
Lowest
 
Year
       
             
Date
   
Date
         
Date
         
Year
         
Date
         
Year
           
                                                                     
    C     C     C     C           Hrs     Hrs       Hrs     Hrs       mm     mm       mm     mm          
                                                                                                                                           
  *Hampstead   08.4   -1.6   01.8   -1.1   14.8   31   -05.2   04   20   12   04   09.5   23   103   100   1910   190   1995   051   1981   18   11.6   07   052   097   1910   134   1947   03   1929   00   06   00  
  Thorney Island   08.4   -2.7   02.7   -0.8   13.0   31   -04.3   02   19   08   07   09.5   01   119   087   1956   207   1995   073   1964   14   12.6   07   059   111   1941   162   1947   03   1961   00   02   00  
  *Coltishall   08.0   -1.2   02.0   -1.2   17.0   26   -06.2   03   20   11   04   11.0   23   119   096   1979   179   1995   057   2005   14   08.6   29   037   082   1964   090   2001   10   1973   00   05   00  
  *Wittering   07.7   -1.6   01.7   -0.9   15.9   30   -05.8   03   21   11   09   09.8   23   102   093   1950   197   1995   042   1984   11   08.6   29   043   085   1948   097   1975   08   1961   00   04   00  
                                                                     
  Lyneham   08.0   -1.6   01.9   -1.0   14.6   30   -06.2   04   20   10   04   10.0   19   108   089   1952   177   1955   057   1984   16   20.6   30   069   124   1946   149   1981   02   1961   00   05   00  
  Ross-on-Wye   09.0   -1.3   02.6   -0.5   15.0   26   -05.0   04   18   07   04   09.4   04   104   094   1915   188   1929   054   1996   14   08.9   25   056   100   1859   177   1947   <01   1938   00   05   00  
  *St Athan   08.5   -1.3   03.2   -0.5   14.1   26   -04.6   04   17   05   05   10.2   19   091   074   1954   174   2003   067   1996   11   09.4   24   071   099   1954   159   1981   13   1961   00   04   00  
  St Mawgan   08.8   -1.4   04.2   -0.8   14.1   26   -01.9   02   12   03   07   10.4   19   101   075   1944   196   1955   074   1992   08   16.4   06   093   106   1945   171   1947   04   1944   00   04   00  
                                                                     
  *Edgbaston   07.5   -0.8   02.3   -0.8   15.2   30   -04.5   03   19   09   04   09.8   22   095   091   1887   215   1893   041   1960   09   12.0   07   065   118   1887   172   1947   04   1929   00   06   00  
  *Valley   08.0   -2.0   03.7   -0.9   11.6   31   -05.7   03   12   04   05   10.9   19   093   070   1946   196   1955   076   1998   12   09.4   29   091   150   1941   152   1981   13   1990   00   02   00  
  *Woodford   07.8   -1.5   01.6   -1.0   15.7   26   -08.3   03   21   12   04   09.9   22   087   078   1945   169   1948   052   1983   08   20.2   14   088   154   1942   139   1981   13   1944   01   06   00  
  *Watnall   07.7   -1.6   02.0   -0.6   15.7   26   -05.5   03   21   12   10   10.1   23   093   086   1948   179   1995   045   1984   10   08.4   07   056   112   1942   143   1947   06   1961   00   07   00  
                                                                     
  *Leeming   07.3   -2.1   01.1   -1.6   16.2   26   -08.2   03   21   13   09   11.1   22   086   082   1945   164   1995   036   1996   09   08.8   24   069   143   1945   113   1947   03   1953   00   08   00  
  *Boulmer   06.6   -2.2   01.7   -0.7   14.4   26   -04.0   03   18   12   10   11.1   29   078   068   1945   178   1997   031   1964   07   10.8   24   097   177   1945   119   1947   08   1953   00   09   00  
  *Eskdalemuir   05.2   -2.5   -00.6   -1.6   11.4   27   -10.0   03   26   16   14   09.2   06   069   075   1911   185   1929   044   1936   09   34.2   26   179   150   1911   282   1989   17   1944   00   17   00  
  *Bishopton   07.2   -2.3   01.4   -1.2   12.7   25   -04.1   02   21   10   11   09.7   02   078   080   1921   155   2003   039   1936   13   26.0   13   135   189   1921   180   1994   17   1969   00   10   00  
                                                                     
  *Leuchars   06.6   -2.4   01.2   -1.4   14.5   26   -05.2   22   22   11   10   10.0   29   075   066   1922   187   1929   049   1964   12   18.0   24   096   212   1922   103   1958   07   1973   00   12   00  
  Dyce   05.4   -3.0   01.0   -1.0   14.2   26   -03.5   07   25   13   12   11.5   29   082   076   1941   192   2003   030   1964   05   30.0   24   118   195   1941   127   1958   07   1953   00   18   00  
  *Stornoway   06.7   -2.1   02.0   -1.5   09.9   19   -04.0   22   18   07   07   09.2   16   077   066   1880   172   1911   055   1938   05   16.0   11   105   119   1943   206   1990   19   1969   00   10   00  
  *Aldergrove   08.0   -1.8   02.0   -1.2   13.8   27   -06.5   04   16   12   07   09.6   07   095   088   1927   181   1929   053   1996   06   22.0   11   101   185   1927   122   1940   09   1953   00   06   00  
                                                                     
                                                                                                                                           
  Stations marked with an asterisk record sunshine electronically; comparisons      
  with earlier records are therefore somewhat speculative. Thorney Island's      
  sunshine figures are from a nearby site.