The average number of air frosts for March is 9 but during this month we will only have experienced 7, which contrasts with March 2013 when we suffered 19 days with an air frost, a 30-year record.
The most severe air frost in March 2013 was a low of -6.6C whereas in 2014 the coldest morning produced a minimum of -3.8C
The thermometer dropped below freezing just before midnight and fell to -3.8C at 05.40am. This was the coldest night since November when the temperature fell to -4.1C on the 26th and -4.0C on the 27th.
The soil temperature, at a 5cm depth, dropped to 1.5C at dawn.
Several sharp showers of rain and hail occurred during the day. Small hail is less than 5mm in diameter and large hail, which fell late morning, contained large hail which is greater than 5mm in diameter. Around 11.20am, as the very heavy shower passed over, the temperature fell 5C in as many minutes.
With just over a week to go before the end of the month the total rainfall of 30mm is about 50% of the 30-year average. This contrasts with the past few months when 717mm fell from 16th October to 15th March, a record. This time span is the accepted period when precipitation filtering through to ground sources principally exceeds evaporation. The driest year was 1991/92 when just 224mm was recorded.
Following the cold front’s passage across the country we had a ground frost last night with an air temperature minimum of 1.0C. During the late evening a wind chill factor equivalent to -2C was recorded.
The compensation is the many hours of bright sunshine, peaking at 9.3 hours during friday 21st.
The levels of ultra violet radiation are also increasing with peaks of 3.7 and 4.1 on the 20th and 17th respectively.
From a high of 1025mb at 1000 on the 19th the pressure fell over the following 30 hours to 1003mb today. This brought the dramatic change in weather after the recent quieter, sunny days. Today was the first precipitation after twelve dry days and brought the strongest wind gust, of 35mph, for almost thirty days.