March 2016 Weather

Whilst it was undoubtedly a cool March this year, temperatures concluding 0.7 C below the 1981-2010 average, the figures as regards rainfall are somewhat misleading with much of the month actually seeing little in the way of precipitation. Indeed from the 10th to the 25th just 0.2 mm’s of rain was measured, almost falling within the Met. Office definition of a drought, but a number of very wet days at the start of the month, including 65.1 mm of rain between the 1st and the 9th, and again at the end of the month, 22.6 mm on the 27th alone, meant that in the end the month actually concluded with double the average rainfall total for a typical March.

The rain towards the end of the month was often showery in nature, with thunder recorded on the 27th and hail on three further days, whilst at the start of the month it was cold enough for some wintry precipitation, including snow on the 2nd & 7th. Indeed on the 2nd the snow was heavy enough to give a short-lived dusting, something of a rarity this year, but it soon melted in the March sunshine.

Sunshine wise it was a duller than average month with just 78% of the long term average being recorded at our weather station near Beverley in East Yorkshire, seven days seeing no sunshine whatsoever. It is worth noting that the dullest period of the month actually coincided with the driest period as well, with high pressure (1038.1 mbar on the 14th) and north to north-east winds bringing with it plenty of cloud and grey skies, typical early spring fare for the North Sea coasts of the British Isles I’m afraid. Winds meanwhile were often brisk but rarely strong, exceeding gale force on just one day, whilst winds were well distributed throughout the month with no one direction dominating.

HIGHEST MAXIMUM : 13.7 C, 25th
LOWEST MINIMUM : -2.6 C, 8th

TOTAL RAINFALL : 98.2 mm   (210%)
MAXIMUM TOTAL : 22.6 mm, 27th
DAYS =>0.2 mm : 13
DAYS =>1.0 mm : 12
DAYS =>10.0 mm : 4

TOTAL SUNSHINE : 89.3 hours   (78%)
AVERAGE PER DAY : 2.88 hours

MAXIMUM GUST : 36 knots, 28th
DAYS =>34 knots : 1

N 6, NE 3, E 2, SE 1, S 5, SW 3, W 9, NW 2

MAXIMUM PRESSURE : 1038.1 hPa, 14th
LOWEST PRESSURE : 972.0 hPa, 28th


March 2016 Logbook (click to enlarge)

1st March 2016, Tuesday
0.9 C to 12.6 C / 1.9 mm / 0.8 hours / SW 4-5
A wet start to March with persistent rain in the morning, though by midday things would start to improve with even some sunny spells developing by the afternoon. Mild as well with temperatures well into double figures, though a brisk breeze meant it didn’t feel particularly warm. Cloud increasing again in the evening with a short spell of rain around 8 pm, but this would soon clear away with the cloud breaking up for a time during the night, this allowing temperatures to dip near to freezing with a ground frost for a time. However once more cloud would increase by the end of the night with outbreaks of sleet and wet snow by dawn.

2nd March 2016, Wednesday
0.5 C to 5.5 C / 12.0 mm / 2.9 hours / W 5
A grim & raw start to the morning with sleet and wet snow, feeling particularly unpleasant out in the open, but by the end of the morning the sleet would turn into proper snow with lovely big flakes tumbling out of the grey March sky. The snow gave a short lived covering of about a centimetre but with plenty of early spring sunshine during the afternoon, it soon melted with any trace of the snow gone by dusk. Cloud increasing again in the evening with persistent, and at times, heavy rain during the first half of the night, but this would clear later with temperatures falling below freezing by the end of the night.

3rd March 2016, Thursday
-0.7 C to 8.2 C / 16.5 mm / 7.0 hours / E 3-4
A clear and cold start to the day, the rain last night creating a lot of ice first thing, but this would soon melt with an abundance of March sunshine for the rest of the day. However in the evening cloud would quickly begin to increase with rain arriving shortly before midnight. This rain would become heavy and persistent for the rest of the night and would continue right through to dawn and beyond.

4th March 2016, Friday
1.7 C to 5.6 C / 8.0 mm / 0.0 hours / N 4
A thoroughly wet morning with persistent and at times heavy rain (peak rate of 5.2 mm/h), though by midday it would ease, at least for a time. Becoming colder as the day wore on with rain turning into sleet and wet snow in the first half of the afternoon, though after 3 pm it would begin to dry up, with merely grey and cloudy skies for the rest of the day. Remaining cloudy but dry in the evening but yet more rain would arrive overnight, this becoming persistent before finally clearing away shortly before dawn.

5th March 2016, Saturday
0.7 C to 8.0 C / 3.0 mm / 2.1 hours / NW 4-5
A bright morning but feeling chilly in the brisk northerly breeze, whilst underfoot it was very wet and soggy after all the rain and sleet yesterday. In the afternoon showers of rain, ice pellets and hail would become frequent at times, the sound of the hail on the roof and against the windows being very loud indeed, though by the end of the afternoon these wintry showers would die out with clear spells developing by the evening. However further showers would drift down from the north in the first half of the night but these would soon die out with clear spells once more developing by the end of the night.

6th March 2016, Sunday
0.2 C to 6.9 C / trace / 2.6 hours / W 4-5
A chilly but bright Mother’s Day with plenty of sunny spells, especially in the morning, though it did feel cold out in the wind. A few light wintry showers in the afternoon as well, but not really coming to anything. Variable amounts of cloud overnight with the breeze preventing temperatures from falling much below freezing, whilst latterly a few snow flurries would drift down from the north, these giving the slightest of dustings on any cold surfaces (ie. car roofs, patches of ice, etc.)

7th March 2016, Monday
-1.3 C to 6.8 C / 0.0 mm / 3.8 hours / NW 4
A few snow flurries early in the morning but otherwise it was a largely fine and bright morning, though it felt very cold, especially in the breeze. More in the way of cloud in the afternoon but remaining fairly bright with some sunny spells at times. Variable amounts of cloud overnight with a moderate frost by dawn.

8th March 2016, Tuesday
-2.6 C to 7.1 C / 16.0 mm / 0.0 hours / SW 3-4
After an initially cold and frosty start it would soon become cloudy and grey, this cloud being thick enough to produce some light rain at times in the morning. Remaining overcast during the afternoon and the evening with heavier and more persistent rain arriving around 9 pm. This rain would continue throughout the night and would become heavy at times, this causing lots of standing water by dawn.

9th March 2016, Wednesday
1.2 C to 6.1 C / 7.7 mm / 0.0 hours / N 3-4
A thoroughly wet morning with persistent moderate to heavy rain throughout, this causing lots of standing water on not only the roads and lanes, but also within the garden. The rain would become lighter in the afternoon, but despite this it would also remain persistent with the rain not stopping till around dusk. However this drier period was short-lived with light rain and drizzle returning during the night, and it would also become pretty murky as well with low cloud cloaking the Yorkshire Wolds.

14th March 2016, Monday
-0.4 C to 9.7 C / trace / 6.7 hours / NE 3-4
Another fine spring day with plenty of hazy sunshine, though cloud would increase in the afternoon, whilst a cool NE breeze meant it felt somewhat cooler with temperatures remaining in single figures throughout the day. Cloud continuing to increase overnight with murk, low cloud and drizzle coming in off the North Sea by the end of the night.

15th March 2016, Tuesday
3.3 C to 7,8 C / trace / 0.0 hours / NE 4
A dull and overcast day with periods of drizzle, especially in the morning, being driven in off the North Sea on a brisk north-easterly breeze. Feeling much colder as well with temperatures down a few degrees compared to recently. Remaining overcast during the evening and overnight with mist and murk returning latterly.

16th March 2016, Wednesday
3.9 C to 11.0 C / 0.0 mm / 3.1 hours / E 3-4
After a murky and dull start it would soon begin to brighten up with good spells of spring sunshine by late morning. Remaining bright in the afternoon with plenty of sunny spells , though a brisk easterly breeze made it feel quite cool, especially out in the open. Largely cloudy in the evening and overnight but not without some clearer spells as well.

21st March 2016, Monday
2.1 C to 11.7 C / 0.0 mm / 2.3 hours / W 3-4
A cloudy morning with a WNW breeze making it feel quite chilly, but in the afternoon it would begin to brighten up with some spells of sunshine in mid to late afternoon. Cloud increasing again in the evening with largely cloudy skies overnight.

22nd March 2016, Tuesday
2.4 C to 11.1 C / 0.0 mm / 0.8 hours / W 2-3
Another largely cloudy day for the most part, though in late morning and early afternoon there were some brighter periods with some spells of sunshine at times. In the sun it actually felt pleasantly warm, the sun after all becoming increasingly strong now that we have passed the vernal equinox, though by the end of the afternoon thick cloud again returned from off the North Sea. Remaining cloudy throughout the evening and night.

23rd March 2016, Wednesday
5.9 C to 8.9 C / trace / 0.0 hours / W 2-3
A cloudy and pretty nondescript sort of day with light winds and little of note. However it was on the chilly side with temperatures remaining in single figures all day, disappointing for late March. Remaining cloudy in the evening but during the night some breaks would develop, at least for a time, this allowing temperatures to dip as low as 2 C. However cloud would increase again later with some spots of rain in the air by dawn.

24th March 2016, Thursday
2.5 C to 9.7 C / 0.2 mm / 0.0 hours / W 3-4
A cloudy day with occasional rain at times, especially early in the morning and again in the afternoon, though it was never particularly heavy and was more a nuisance than anything else. Still this sort of rain is perfect for the garden at this time of year! Drier by the end of the afternoon but it would remain cloudy throughout the evening and much of the night, though towards the end of the night the skies would begin to clear.

25th March 2016, Friday
4.0 C to 13.7 C / 0.0 mm / 10.1 hours / S 3-4
A near perfect spring day with an abundance of warm sunshine, especially in the morning, with temperatures climbing up into the mid-50’s Fahrenheit. Remaining largely clear in the evening and at first overnight but as the breeze freshened from the south, cloud would also begin to increase with skies becoming mostly cloudy by the end of the night.

26th March 2016, Saturday
4.5 C to 13.2 C / 4.9 mm / 0.1 hours / S 5
After a fine but breezy start with some early brightness, it soon became increasingly cloudy with grey and overcast skies by the afternoon, this cloud being thick enough to produce the odd spot of rain on the brisk southerly wind. However despite the grey skies it was quite mild, at least in the shelter, with temperatures again in the mid-50’s Fahrenheit. In the evening a short period of heavy rain would sweep through, accompanied by some squally winds, with a peak rainfall rate of 43.4 mm/h being recorded, but this would soon clear with skies gradually clearing overnight. Remaining breezy though.

27th March 2016, Sunday
3.2 C to 12.4 C / 22.6 mm / 6.0 hours / S 4-5
A largely fine and sunny morning with temperatures pleasant enough, at least in any sheltered suntraps, but as the afternoon wore on showers would bubble up, these turning thundery by the end of the afternoon with some decent rumbles and flashes of lightning within a mile of the weather station. Some hail was also mixed in at times. Showers dying out by dusk with clear spells for a time, but cloud and rain would arrive after midnight, the rain becoming persistent and heavy and continuing for the duration of the night.

28th March 2016, Monday
4.6 C to 9.7 C / 2.6 mm / 1.8 hours / W 5-6
A thoroughly wet morning with persistent, and at times heavy rain, standing water soon building up on parts of the lawn, but thankfully after midday conditions would quickly improve with even some sunny spells in the afternoon. However it would remain breezy, this making it feel particularly cool, whilst a few light blustery showers would also drift over in late afternoon (this producing the odd rainbow or two). Variable amounts of cloud in the evening and overnight with the breeze easing and becoming light, this allowing a touch of ground frost by dawn.