Monthly summary March 2009

March provided us with a wide variety of weather. The first couple of weeks, with low pressure predominating, brought maxima near average but depressed night time temperatures with several frosts and the majority of rainfall for the month. The wettest day occurred on the 3rd with 16.8mm of rainfall, which was 40 % of the total for March. A spring like week started on the 15th with warm, dry days and much sunshine all due an anticyclone which also provided eight consecutive days without rainfall. The remainder of the month brought near average maxima but some sharp frosts, namely -3.8°C and the coldest of -4.6°C on the 30th and 21st respectively. There were eleven air frosts which is three above the long-term average. The mean temperature was just 0.2°C above the long-term average and the total rainfall of 41.6mm was only 69% of the long-term average. The aquifer rainfall, from 16th October – 15th March, which is generally recognized as the period when rainfall drains through to the aquifer rather than evaporating, was 45mm below the long-term average and the driest since 2005/06.