A little warmer on Thursday but a cool westerly

With the wind backing further on Thursday, then into the west a warmer direction, the thermometer crept up to a maximum of 12.6C. This was the warmest day in the past week but still 1.5C below the 36-year average. The wind was a little brisker than the previous day, gusting to a maximum of 19mph.

During the 4.2 hours of strong sunshine the UV level rose to 4.6, the highest since 13th September and at the top end of ‘Moderate’.

Overnight cloud meant another mild night, very similar to the previous night, with a minimum of 5.3C being 1.3C above the average.

For a few very brief minutes on Friday morning after dawn the sun was observed. However, as on several recent mornings a thick bank of cloud drifted across the sky obscuring the sun.

March 2020 Review

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 the 3rd. However by the 4th the unsettled weather returned with twelve consecutive days when rainfall was recorded.

The wettest day of the month occurred on the 9th with 15.6mm of precipitation.

On the 15th 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 the 24th, which was 4.3C above the 36-year average making it the warmest day of the month.

By the 20th 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 the 25th that produced 9.85 hours of strong sunshine making it the sunniest day since 21st September.

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 the 20th, 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 the 5th 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, the 28th and 29th 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% of the 11-year average.