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graphs CLIMATE-UK.COM'S REVIEW OF THE BRITISH METEOROLOGICAL SCENE
MONTHLY SUMMARY
No. 663 For MARCH 2011
MOSTLY SUNNY AND VERY DRY; FREQUENT WARM DAYS AND COLD NIGHTS
Text Box: High pressure straddled the UK throughout the first week, followed by short westerly and cyclonic interludes during the second week. High pressure re-established itself over southern Britain from the 18th, extending to the whole country on 22nd before beginning a long, slow decline. The last three days of the month were unsettled. The sea-level pressure anomaly field was dominated a large area of above-average pressure of +9mbar centred over the British Isles.

Nearly all parts of the UK were dry until the 8th with varying amounts of cloud, but also some good sunny spells especially on the 4th, 7th and 8th. Central and southern parts of England and Wales had a cold east to northeast wind for much of the first week, and the temperature reached only 1.3C at Lake Vyrnwy (Montgomeryshire) on the 3rd, but in northern districts days were occasionally quite mild though nights were often frosty; Woodford (Gtr Manchester) logged -6.0C early on the 3rd. Southern districts were coldest early on the 8th with an overnight low of -7.2C at South Newington (Oxon). It became more changeable and windy between the 8th and 11th with gusts to 70kn at Benbecula (W.Isles) on the 10th, and there were frequent snow showers over northern hills from the 9th onwards. Kinlochewe (Wester Ross) collected 35mm of rainfall equivalent on the 9th while Shap (Cumbria) had 32mm on the 11th - the month's heaviest daily falls. Between the 12th and 14th wintry weather in central and northern Scotland contrasted with mostly dry and mild weather in southern Britain; at Dalwhinnie (Inverness-shire) the day's maximum on the 12th was -0.5C, while Aviemore (also Inverness-shire) reported 29cm of snow lying on the morning of the 13th.

A large anticyclone developed over Scandinavia on the 14th and a ridge of high pressure extended towards the UK. It was foggy at times over England and Wales between the 15th and 17th,  but other regions enjoyed sunny periods, notably
Text Box: eastern Scotland on the 16th, 18th and 19th. Southern parts of England and Wales were dull and cold with rain at times on the 18th thanks to a slow-moving cold front, but in Scotland there was a sharp early frost and Braemar (Aberdeenshire) logged -7.5C. It became warm from the 21st onwards, and many places enjoyed long periods of hazy sunshine - 11.8h at East Malling (Kent) and North Wyke (Devon) on the 23rd, and at North Wyke again on the 24th - although northern and western Scotland were rather wet and windy for a couple of days. Temperatures reached 15-18C widely, with 18.9C at Durham observatory on the 23rd, 18.9C again at Gogerddan (Ceredigion) on the 24th, and 19.6C at Chivenor (Devon) and Charlwood (Surrey) on the 25th. Warmth was confined to southernmost counties during the next two days, and on the 26th there were scattered heavy showers in southern England and more persistent rain in some eastern counties with 25mm at Tuttington (Norfolk). It became progressively less settled from the 29th onwards, and a 31-day spell without measurable rain at Cambridge came to an end on the 30th. The last day of the month was warm but windy: a gust of 61kn was logged at Loftus (N.Yorks) but the temperature reached 18C at several sites in East Anglia and London, with 18.8C at Santon Downham (Norfolk).

Mean maximum temperature ranged from fractionally below normal in Shetland to 1.0-1.5degC above normal over much of England and Wales, while mean minima were 0.0-1.0degC below normal in most regions. Except in eastern Scotland it was a dry month - exceptionally dry in some midland and eastern counties of England where less than 5mm of rain fell in many places from Hertfordshire to North Yorkshire; Cambridge collected just 2mm. Sunshine duration was slightly below normal in northern and western Scotland, but 30-40 per cent above normal over much of England and Wales. Weymouth (Dorset) reported an aggregate of 199h bright sunshine.
                                                                                                                                             
    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   11.0   +1.0   03.5   +0.6   17.9   25   -01.3   03   18   06   02   08.9   19   125   121   1910   190   1995   051   1981   21   05.9   18   014   025   1910   134   1947   03   1929   00   00   00  
  *Thorney Island   11.2   +0.2   03.2   -0.2   16.6   15   -03.3   08   10   09   01   11.7   23   176   134   1956   207   1995   073   1964   21   08.4   30   021   043   1941   162   1947   03   1961   00   00   00  
  *Wattisham   10.3   +0.4   02.9   +0.7   17.3   31   -01.8   19   17   05   06   11.3   19   115   101   1968   201   1995   051   1975   18   04.6   13   012   025   1960   101   2008   07   1961   00   00   00  
  *Wittering   11.0   +1.7   02.7   +0.1   17.9   31   -04.0   08   12   06   07   11.1   19   118   106   1950   197   1995   042   1984   26   03.0   30   004   008   1948   097   1975   08   1961   00   01   00  
                                                                     
  *Lyneham   11.1   +1.5   03.3   +0.4   17.0   25   -03.3   08   15   07   05   11.6   23   138   114   1952   177   2009   057   1984   20   05.0   30   014   025   1946   149   1981   02   1961   00   01   00  
  Ross-on-Wye   11.9   +1.6   03.3   +0.2   17.9   25   -03.0   05   14   06   03   09.9   23   126   113   1915   188   1929   054   1996   22   07.4   12   015   026   1859   177   1947   <01   1938   00   00   00  
  *St Athan   11.2   +1.5   04.2   +0.6   16.8   23   -02.7   03   09   07   01   11.7   25   173   140   1954   174   2003   067   1996   18   11.6   30   026   035   1954   159   1981   13   1961   00   00   00  
  Culdrose   10.9   +1.0   04.3   +0.1   16.1   16   -03.0   05   09   07   01   10.0   13   146   114   1961   191   1973   072   1969   19   09.2   29   029   032   1961   164   2001   02   1961   00   00   00  
                                                                     
  *Edgbaston   10.8   +0.4   03.7   -0.1   17.5   25   -00.8   05   12   03   03   09.6   25   120   124   1887   215   1893   041   1960   24   06.2   12   013   022   1887   172   1947   04   1929   00   00   00  
  *Valley   10.4   +0.6   03.6   -0.8   16.4   24   -01.8   07   12   05   02   10.8   25   168   125   1946   196   1955   076   1998   14   06.0   14   030   049   1941   152   1981   13   1990   00   00   00  
  *Woodford   11.1   +1.9   02.0   -0.5   17.1   24   -06.0   03   19   07   04   09.7   23   138   133   1945   169   1948   052   1983   18   06.2   30   017   030   1942   139   1981   13   1944   00   00   00  
  *Watnall   10.9   +1.6   03.3   +0.7   17.7   23   -02.5   08   14   05   08   10.3   08   124   112   1948   179   1995   045   1984   25   05.2   30   011   022   1942   143   1947   06   1961   00   00   00  
                                                                     
  *Leeming   10.6   +1.2   01.7   -1.0   18.2   23   -05.1   08   18   11   06   10.5   21   145   137   1945   164   2009   036   1996   24   02.0   11   008   016   1945   113   1947   03   1953   00   01   00  
  *Boulmer   09.8   +1.1   03.0   +0.7   16.9   23   -01.0   07   13   05   07   10.4   18   132   116   1945   178   1997   031   1964   19   09.8   11   022   040   1945   119   1947   08   1953   00   00   00  
  *Eskdalemuir   08.2   +0.7   00.1   -0.8   16.0   24   -05.2   18   18   12   09   08.6   18   070   076   1911   185   1929   044   1936   14   18.0   30   125   105   1911   282   1989   17   1944   00   02   04  
  *Bishopton   09.2   0.0   02.2   -0.1   16.1   23   -02.0   16   12   08   05   11.4   24   088   090   1921   155   2003   039   1936   13   21.6   12   117   163   1921   180   1994   17   1969   00   00   03  
                                                                     
  *Leuchars   10.0   +1.2   02.4   -0.1   16.6   22   -02.6   18   22   08   08   11.3   24   125   108   1922   187   1929   049   1964   19   21.8   15   066   146   1922   103   1958   07   1973   00   00   03  
  *Dyce   09.6   +1.4   02.8   +0.9   16.5   23   -01.2   12   18   04   09   09.8   07   124   115   1941   192   2003   030   1964   17   21.2   12   068   113   1941   127   1958   07   1953   00   00   03  
  *Stornoway   08.7   +0.2   03.7   +0.4   14.0   23   -03.6   12   10   04   08   08.5   22   082   070   1880   172   1911   055   1938   06   17.8   07   087   099   1943   206   1990   19   1969   00   00   02  
  *Aldergrove   10.4   +0.8   02.4   -0.6   15.7   23   -02.0   03   15   07   04   10.7   24   125   116   1927   181   1929   053   1996   15   13.6   11   045   081   1927   122   1940   09   1953   00   00   01  
                                                                     
                                                                                                                                             
  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.