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graphs CLIMATE-UK.COM'S REVIEW OF THE BRITISH METEOROLOGICAL SCENE
MONTHLY SUMMARY
No. 615 For MARCH 2007
EXCEPTIONALLY SUNNY. VERY WET AT FIRST THEN LARGELY DRY
Text Box: were reported on the 18th. All parts of the country had frequent showers of snow, sleet and hail during these three days, and snow lay 9cm deep at Aviemore on the morning of the 20th. As the strong winds abated, the overnight temperature fell to    -8.2C at Loch Glascarnoch (Wester Ross) on the 20th/21st, and to -5.6C as far south as Benson (Oxon) the following night. Braemar (Aberdeenshire) logged a maximum of     -0.1C on the 20th - the only incidence of a sub-zero day anywhere in the UK during March. A frontal trough advancing from the northwest cut off the Arctic airflow on the 21st and 22nd, but not before snow had fallen for a couple of hours over East Anglia and the Southeast on the morning of the 22nd, though snow-cover was transitory even over the hills.

Rapidly rising pressure led to the establishment of a large anticyclone over Scandinavia until the 28th, delivering an easterly airflow to the UK. A depression affected the country on the 29th and 30th, but a strong northeasterly airflow returned at the end of the month.  The 24th was cold, windy, dull and drizzly over most of England, with widespread hill fog, but from the 25th to the 28th it was warm and sunny by day - up to 18.6C at Herstmonceux (Sussex) on the 27th - but with frost and fog at night. This episode was also notable for a persistent thick atmospheric haze. The next two days were colder and cloudier with rain in many places, notably in central and eastern Scotland, but much of the UK was sunny again on the 31st.

Mean monthly temperatures were between 1 and 2 degC above the long-term mean except in Northern Ireland (where they were close to normal), the excess being markedly greater by day than by night in southern and eastern regions. In spite of the very wet start, only northern and western Scotland ended up with a wetter-than-average March and locally in the northwest highlands there was twice the normal amount of rain; by contrast many places in east and northeast England had less than 25mm of rain during the entire month. Sunshine aggregates were above the long-term average in all regions, but especially in southern England where Weymouths total was 219 hours. During the last 100 years only the Marches of 1907, 1929, 1933 and 2003 were significantly sunnier.
Text Box: After a very disturbed first week there was a strong rise of pressure over southern Britain during the second week although Scotland remained under the influence of a westerly flow. A short-lived northerly outbreak between the 18th and 21st was followed by mainly easterly winds during the last week or so. The mean monthly pressure pattern showed a markedly diffluent westerly flow covering the UK; anomalies ranged from zero in Shetland to +4mbar at Valentia.

A vigorous southwesterly type prevailed until the 8th with active depressions and troughs crossing the country at frequent intervals. All parts of the UK had frequent rain, heavy at times especially in the north and west, but between the rain belts there was a good deal of sunshine, and all regions remained consistently mild. The weather was particularly bad on the 5th and 6th: a gust of 65kn was recorded at Barra (Western Isles) on the 5th, and one of 63kn at Langdon Bay (Kent) on the 6th. Keswick (Cumbria) recorded 54mm of rain on the 5th alone, while Capel Curig (Snowdonia) collected 81mm over the two days.

Between the 8th and 17th a strong southwest to westerly type persisted over northern Britain, but pressure was now much higher over southern districts and a series of high pressure cells travelled from west to east along the English Channel or across northern France. It became sunny and rather warm in southern, central and eastern England, and the warmth extended to eastern Scotland at times too, notably on the 10th when 15.7C was recorded at Fyvie (Aberdeenshire). Further south, the warmest days were the 11th and 12th when the temperature widely exceeded 15C, peaking at 18.5C on the 12th at East Malling (Kent). By contrast, northern and western Scotland was cloudy and windy, and upwards of 200mm fell during the ten-day period in the northwest highlands. Gusts over 70kn were recorded at Foula (Shetland) and Benbecula (Western Isles) on the 16th and 17th.

On the 18th a deep depression tracked past northern Scotland and a vigorous cold front introduced a much colder northwesterly airflow which veered northerly on the 19th and 20th. Peak gusts of 94mph at Foula and 91mph at Sule Skerry and Fair Isle
                                                                                                                                           
    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   12.2   +2.2   03.9   +1.0   17.6   12   -02.0   22   07   02   00   10.0   26   160   155   1910   190   1995   051   1981   12   17.8   05   057   107   1910   134   1947   03   1929   00   00   00  
  Thorney Island   11.9   +0.9   04.5   +1.1   17.4   27   -00.4   22   16   03   02   10.5   27   196   140   1956   207   1995   073   1964   10   17.6   04   039   081   1941   162   1947   03   1961   00   00   00  
  *Wattisham   11.3   +1.4   03.4   +1.2   17.0   12   -02.5   22   15   04   03   10.7   26   169   148   1968   201   1995   051   1975   14   11.2   05   057   119   1960   095   1981   07   1961   00   00   00  
  *Wittering   10.9   +1.6   03.1   +0.5   15.5   27   -02.5   22   18   02   04   09.2   13   155   140   1950   197   1995   042   1984   13   21.2   02   042   083   1948   097   1975   08   1961   00   00   00  
                                                                     
  Lyneham   10.8   +1.2   03.3   +0.7   14.0   28   -02.3   21   17   03   02   11.2   21   173   143   1952   177   1955   057   1984   15   16.6   05   063   113   1946   149   1981   02   1961   00   00   00  
  Ross-on-Wye   11.8   +1.5   03.4   +0.3   15.0   17   -02.0   21   00   01   02   10.7   21   157   140   1915   188   1929   054   1996   14   17.3   04   074   132   1859   177   1947   <01   1938   00   00   00  
  *St Athan   11.2   +1.5   04.6   +1.0   14.5   31   -00.6   21   04   01   01   10.5   21   172   140   1954   174   2003   067   1996   16   15.8   02   056   078   1954   159   1981   13   1961   00   00   00  
  St Mawgan   10.9   +0.8   05.5   +0.6   15.8   27   -00.2   21   03   01   02   11.0   24   166   122   1944   196   1955   074   1992   10   13.8   03   087   099   1945   171   1947   04   1944   00   00   00  
                                                                     
  *Edgbaston   10.6   +1.0   04.0   +1.0   15.2   17   -01.7   21   03   02   01   08.4   10   141   150   1887   215   1893   041   1960   12   30.8   02   076   133   1887   172   1947   04   1929   00   00   00  
  *Valley   10.2   +0.4   05.1   +0.7   13.7   27   -01.9   21   09   01   02   11.2   24   149   111   1946   196   1955   076   1998   13   11.4   05   035   057   1941   152   1981   13   1990   00   00   00  
  *Woodford   10.6   +1.3   03.1   +0.5   15.4   27   -04.3   21   18   04   05   11.1   26   125   121   1945   169   1948   052   1983   13   09.0   05   054   095   1942   139   1981   13   1944   00   00   00  
  *Watnall   10.5   +1.2   03.6   +1.0   14.8   26   -01.4   21   14   01   04   09.2   06   135   122   1948   179   1995   045   1984   13   13.4   02   040   078   1942   143   1947   06   1961   00   00   00  
                                                                     
  *Leeming   10.5   +1.1   03.4   +0.7   15.0   26   -01.6   21   16   05   05   10.2   21   124   117   1945   164   1995   036   1996   17   08.4   04   027   056   1945   113   1947   03   1953   00   00   00  
  *Boulmer   09.4   +0.7   03.6   +1.3   12.5   13   -00.6   02   09   02   06   09.7   25   117   104   1945   178   1997   031   1964   17   05.4   19   025   045   1945   119   1947   08   1953   00   00   00  
  *Eskdalemuir   08.5   +1.0   01.8   +1.0   14.4   26   -05.0   21   18   09   06   09.9   24   095   104   1911   185   1929   044   1936   10   32.2   11   134   113   1911   282   1989   17   1944   00   00   00  
  *Bishopton   09.5   +0.2   03.5   +1.1   12.5   30   -04.0   21   15   03   06   11.4   24   105   106   1921   155   2003   039   1936   09   25.6   05   106   148   1921   180   1994   17   1969   00   00   00  
                                                                     
  *Leuchars   09.8   +1.0   03.0   +0.6   12.5   10   -03.7   21   19   05   03   10.6   31   136   119   1922   187   1929   049   1964   20   07.0   11   029   066   1922   103   1958   07   1973   00   00   00  
  *Dyce   09.9   +1.7   03.5   +1.7   15.4   10   -01.5   04   13   05   04   08.5   03   141   131   1941   192   2003   030   1964   18   10.4   04   034   056   1941   127   1958   07   1953   00   00   00  
  *Stornoway   09.3   +0.8   03.7   +0.5   13.2   27   -01.0   21   12   03   05   11.5   25   130   111   1880   172   1911   055   1938   07   19.0   05   114   130   1943   206   1990   19   1969   00   00   00  
  *Aldergrove   09.7   +0.2   03.1   +0.1   12.1   31   -01.5   21   19   02   03   09.9   24   126   118   1927   181   1929   053   1996   16   12.0   11   040   073   1927   122   1940   09   1953   00   00   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.