Monday, 1 April 2013

Winter Extended To The End Of March

March has finally come to an end but there’s still no sign of spring as far as the weather is concerned. This year March has been colder than both January and February and they were cold months with below average temperatures too. We've also had more nights with temperatures below freezing in March which I wouldn't expect. The year’s summary so far  is in the table below.

I suppose there will be discussion in the media about this being the coldest March since 1962. Comparing my temperatures for Ossett with the Met Offices Central England Temperature record dating back to 1772 then this March takes over in 7th place and the coldest March since 1883. This isn’t a truly like for like comparison but it’s the best I can do.

I've added a chart below showing the average temperatures for the years in question and at the end of the day we are talking about fractions of a degree centigrade difference between the coldest March temperatures in the chart. 
Clicking on the chart will open it up in a full size view to see how all the records converge around a temperature of 2.5°C to 2.8°C. March 2013 in Ossett takes up 7th position in this rather unenviable spring table.
There now seems to be some tweets among meteorologists suggesting that temperatures may lift into double figures around the middle of April. The forecasts so many days in advance are always a little bit hit and miss so I’m hoping the milder weather will arrive sooner rather than later. We've now gone through the whole months of February and March without having a temperature of 10.0°C for more than one hour. Our warmest day is still the 29 January when we managed a scorching 13.7°C.

Adding to the March miseries for the gardener, the month turned out wetter than average with 50.4mm of rainfall against an expected average of 41.9mm. That leaves the garden to dry out and warm up before any serious planting begins.

What a difference a year makes with March 2012 producing a maximum temperature of 21.9°C compared to just 9.9°C this year. Last March I recorded 148.9 hours of sunshine compared with 44.3 hours this year. In March last year we had just one night where the temperature fell to below zero centigrade compared to 14 nights this year. To complete this dismal picture we had 13.0mm of rain last year and 50.4 mm this year.

There’s no wonder it’s a slow start to the gardening year. Let’s hope for better weather in April

Original post from A Gardener's Weather Diary author M Garrett


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