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graphs CLIMATE-UK.COM'S REVIEW OF THE BRITISH METEOROLOGICAL SCENE
MONTHLY SUMMARY
No. 687 For MARCH 2013
COLDEST OVER ENGLAND AND WALES SINCE 1962; DULLEST IN EAST ANGLIA AND THE SOUTHEAST SINCE 1984
Text Box: March 2013 was, by a wide margin, the most easterly March in 141 years of records. With an air-mass source region over northern Russia for long periods it was therefore an exceptionally cold March with frequent and occasionally heavy snow, notably around the 10th-12th and the 22nd-24th.

High pressure remained in control during the first four days, with a rather cold easterly flow over southern England. There was a good deal of sunshine at times in Scotland, Northern Ireland, northwest England, Wales and the West Country, with daytime temperatures near to or slightly above the long-term average, but it was cloudy and rather cold in eastern and central England. As the anticyclone slipped away to the Balkans, a warm airflow from the Mediterranean developed, and the 5th was a warm and sunny day with a high of 17.5C at Trawsgoed (Ceredigion). On the 6th there was very little sunshine, and any warmth was confined to the southeastern corner of England. Over the next four days a cyclonic/easterly type held sway and most regions were dull with hill fog and rain at times, and temperatures eased back a little each day.

Between the 10th and the 13th a strong easterly flow backed northerly and relaxed. Heavy drifting snow fell in the Channel Islands on the 10th-11th, spreading to southeast England overnight 11th/12th and causing much disruption to traffic here. The temperature fell to -12.9C early on the 11th at both Kinbrace (Sutherland) and Aboyne (Aberdeenshire) and only climbed to -2.0C at East Okement Farm (Devon) during the day. A minimum of -11.9C was logged at Saughall (Ayrshire) the following night. Sunny spells and snow showers followed during the next two days. Between the 15th and 20th a complex depression became slow-moving over the UK and the weather remained cold and mainly cloudy with outbreaks of rain and hill snow; East Okement Farm reported 50mm of rain on the 15th.
Text Box: A series of deep depressions approached southwest Ireland between the 20th and 24th bringing heavy rain and some flooding to southwest England, but heavy drifting snow to a broad zone stretching from eastern England to north Wales, Northern Ireland and southwest Scotland. Plymouth (Devon) collected 58mm on the 21st alone, while 83mm fell at Killowen (County Down) during the 21st-22nd, most of it snow. 

Unofficial reports indicate that 60-70cm may have fallen in the Clwydian Range of northeast Wales above Wrexham, while 40-60cm was reported on the Isle of Man, in County Down, and on the Isle of Arran. Afternoon highs included -2.1C at Emley Moor (West Yorks) on the 23rd, and  -3.3C at Lake Vyrnwy (Montgomeryshire) on the 24th. It remained very cold with a biting east to northeast wind throughout the last week of March; it was mainly cloudy in eastern and central districts with occasional snow flurries, but much sunnier in northern and western parts. The sun shone for 12.1h at Stornoway (Isle of Lewis) on the 29th while the temperature dropped to -12.5C at Braemar (Aberdeenshire) early on the 31st.

Mean maxima ranged from 2.5 degC below the 1981-2010 normal in northern Scotland to 4.5 degC below in Southeast England, East Anglia and the Midlands, while mean minima varied between 2.5 and 3.5 degC below normal in all regions. It was generally the coldest March since 1962, though locally in the Southeast, East Anglia and the Midlands it was the coldest since 1883. Rainfall percentages ranged from below 40 in the Highland and Islands to 120-150 in Southeast England; the highest rainfall total to hand is 182mm at Killowen (Co Down), the lowest 12mm at Fair Isle (between Orkney and Shetland).  Sunshine percentages varied between about 40-50 in Southeast England and 130-140 in Shetland; the highest sunshine total to hand is 139h at Tiree (Inner Hebrides) and the lowest 55h at Dyce (Aberdeenshire), Boulmer (Northumberland) and Luton (Beds).
                                                                                                                                             
    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   05.3   -4.9   00.5   -2.6   16.1   05   -03.3   12   20   16   07   07.9   05   065   061   1910   190   1995   051   1981   08   12.8   18   063   129   1910   134   1947   03   1929   00   10   01  
  *Thorney Island   06.8   -4.5   01.8   -1.9   12.8   06   -03.0   29   15   09   04   09.0   31   111   082   1956   219   2012   073   1964   19   14.2   22   060   137   1941   162   1947   03   1961   00   04   01  
  *Wattisham   05.2   -4.9   00.3   -2.1   14.0   06   -03.8   31   19   15   11   10.0   05   063   055   1968   201   1995   051   1975   13   08.2   08   035   080   1960   101   2008   07   1961   00   15   02  
  *Wittering   05.0   -4.5   -00.1   -2.9   11.2   05   -03.8   31   21   15   10   08.9   05   065   058   1950   197   1995   042   1984   13   12.0   17   053   114   1948   097   1975   08   1961   00   15   02  
                                                                     
  *Lyneham   05.8   -4.0   -00.2   -3.3   14.5   05   -05.2   31   23   17   12   10.0   05   065   052   1952   178   2012   057   1984   16   17.2   15   055   107   1946   149   1981   02   1961   01   12   03  
  Ross-on-Wye   06.4   -4.1   01.1   -2.2   13.1   05   -04.2   31   24   11   03   08.6   31   106   092   1915   188   1929   054   1996   13   17.0   16   080   158   1859   177   1947   <01   1938   00   08   00  
  *St Athan   06.8   -3.2   01.3   -2.6   13.2   05   -03.4   14   18   13   08   10.9   31   095   075   1954   174   2003   067   1996   17   27.6   15   087   134   1954   159   1981   13   1961   00   04   00  
  Culdrose   07.6   -2.6   03.0   -1.6   13.2   09   -01.5   12   12   05   08   09.1   14   087   066   1961   191   1973   072   1969   13   34.0   21   095   115   1961   164   2001   02   1961   00   02   00  
                                                                     
  *Birmingham Univ   05.1   -4.8   -00.4   -3.1   14.7   05   -04.9   14   26   17   03   09.0   05   099   092   1887   215   1893   041   1960   14   13.4   15   068   134   1887   172   1947   04   1929   00   13   01  
  *Valley   06.9   -3.3   01.2   -3.6   12.8   08   -03.0   29   17   12   06   11.2   29   119   086   1946   196   1955   076   1998   15   24.8   22   089   163   1941   152   1981   13   1990   00   02   00  
  *Woodford   06.6   -2.9   -00.7   -3.5   12.8   05   -06.1   14   00   16   06   09.4   31   110   104   1945   169   1948   052   1983   19   09.6   16   032   061   1942   139   1981   13   1944   00   07   01  
  *Watnall   04.8   -4.7   -00.2   -3.0   10.3   02   -04.4   31   20   18   09   08.1   02   071   063   1948   179   1995   045   1984   12   11.2   15   050   108   1942   143   1947   06   1961   00   12   02  
                                                                     
  *Leeming   05.3   -4.3   -00.3   -3.2   11.0   02   -06.2   12   23   13   13   09.3   02   064   058   1945   189   2012   036   1996   18   11.8   17   043   099   1945   113   1947   03   1953   00   14   02  
  *Boulmer   04.8   -4.2   01.1   -1.5   11.7   02   -02.6   31   14   08   12   07.7   05   055   046   1945   188   2012   031   1964   12   08.6   19   042   084   1945   119   1947   08   1953   00   12   01  
  *Eskdalemuir   03.9   -4.0   -01.9   -3.1   10.6   02   -07.4   14   26   21   10   07.9   13   064   068   1911   185   1929   044   1936   14   14.0   17   046   042   1911   282   1989   17   1944   00   17   03  
  *Bishopton   05.6   -4.1   00.1   -2.7   11.5   02   -04.3   12   24   14   08   09.7   01   086   086   1921   155   2003   039   1936   12   05.6   14   029   044   1921   180   1994   17   1969   00   12   00  
                                                                     
  *Leuchars   05.4   -3.8   -00.5   -3.3   12.8   02   -04.8   12   20   16   12   09.6   30   085   072   1922   187   1929   049   1964   10   07.2   19   050   121   1922   103   1958   07   1973   00   10   00  
  *Dyce   04.7   -3.9   00.1   -2.1   10.8   03   -04.2   31   22   16   09   07.3   11   055   050   1941   192   2003   030   1964   09   12.2   08   062   113   1941   127   1958   07   1953   00   09   00  
  *Stornoway   06.6   -2.4   01.6   -2.1   09.6   01   -04.1   27   15   08   04   12.1   29   132   110   1880   172   1911   055   1938   18   16.0   16   037   046   1943   206   1990   19   1969   00   03   00  
  *Aldergrove   05.7   -4.3   00.9   -2.5   09.7   01   -05.7   12   15   12   09   07.5   05   066   059   1927   181   1929   053   1996   13   13.0   22   056   111   1927   122   1940   09   1953   00   11   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.      
  Averages are for 1981-2010.