A change in the month and thankfully a brief change in the weather as the beginning of March brought far less rain and a dry day on March 3. However by March 4 the unsettled weather returned with twelve consecutive days when rainfall was recorded. The wettest day of the month occurred on March 9 with 15.6mm of precipitation.
On March 15 a high pressure developed over the Azores producing two dry days and higher temperatures. The south-westerly wind meant the milder air raised the temperature to 14.7C on March 24, which was 4.3C above the 36-year average making it the warmest day of the month.
By March 20 an anticyclone developed over Scandinavia bringing cooler but more importantly drier weather. After days with minimal sunshine, or none at all, we enjoyed many hours with the sunniest day on March 25 that produced 9.85 hours of strong sunshine making it the sunniest day since September 21.
As the Scandinavian high eased away an intense high-pressure system developed over the North Atlantic bringing cool north-easterly winds and dry weather. There were 10 consecutive dry days from March 20, in contrast to the previous very wet months, making it the driest continuous period since the beginning of July.
The rainfall for the month amounted to 58.6mm making this the first below average month since July 2019. The total was just 1.2mm below the 36-year average. The wind and strong sunshine produced significant evaporation, especially at the end of the month. During this period 2 to 3mm of equivalent rainfall was evaporating into the atmosphere every day from the ground and plant life. In fact the total evaporation of 50.9mm was not far below the rainfall total of 58.6mm.
Temperatures throughout the month were variable, alternating between warm and very cool days. A maximum of just 5.1C was recorded on March 5 being 5.3C below the average.
The mean temperature was just 0.2C above the 36-year average. Analysing the data I found that the average maximum was 0.6C above average whereas cold nights meant the average minimum was 0.3C below average.
The anticyclones also produced days with strong winds, March 28 and 29 come to mind with maximum gusts of 40mph and 43mph respectively. There were 7 days when the wind gusted over 30mph. The wind strength and direction produced wind chill on a number of days, particularly at the end of the month, when it felt 2C to 3C below the temperature indicated on the thermometer. North easterlies are common during March but this year saw 12 days with winds coming from that direction, an unusual proportion for the month.
There were 7 days when frost was recorded and 2 days when small hail was observed.
The end of the month brought us 12 days with just 0.1mm of rainfall. During this dry period many hours of strong sunshine were recorded with in excess of 9 hours on each of five days. The solar energy for March was 118 per cent of the 11-year average.