March 2007

Temperatures
(all temperatures in degrees Celsius; all averages 1961 – 1990)

Mean daily maximum: 10.1
Difference from average: +1.8

Mean daily minimum: 3.3
Difference from average: +1.8

Mean air temperature: 6.7
Difference from average: +1.7

Absolute maximum: 15 (28th)

Absolute minimum: -2.6 (21st)

Mean grass minimum: 1.2

Absolute grass minimum: -6.5 (2nd)

Number of ground frosts: 13

Number of air frosts: 4

Mean soil temperature at 30cm depth: 7.0

Mean soil temperature at 100cm depth: 7.5

Rainfall
(all totals in millimetres; all averages 1961 – 1990)

Total for the month: 22.2
Difference from average: -29

Percentage of the average: 43%

Wettest day: 9.2 (4th)

Number of rain days (>0.25mm): 12

Number of wet days (=> 1mm): 7

3-month total rainfall to 31st March: 140.8
Difference from average: -11

6-month rainfall total to 31st March: 381.8
Difference from average: +58.8

12-month rainfall total to 31st March: 621.9
Difference from average: -27.1

Humidity
(Averages for 09:00 hours GMT)

Relative Humidity: 81%

Sunshine
(all averages 1961 – 1990)

Total for the month: 128 hours
Difference from average: +22.5

Percentage of the average: 121%

Mean daily sunshine: 4.1 hours
Difference from average: +0.7

Sunniest day: 9.2 hours (17th)

Number of days with no recorded sunshine: 4

Cumulative total sunshine since 1st January: 296.4 hours
Difference from average: +71.1

Wind

The mean wind speed: 15.7km/h [8.5kt]
Difference from average: -0.1km/hr

The highest gust: 96.3km/h [52kt] from 245° at 00:27 GMT on 18th

ISSN1350-483

Comments on March 2007
Despite some cold days, March 2007 was nevertheless a very mild month, with daily maximum exceeding 10°C on no less than 18 days. There were some chilly days in the middle of the month with a maximum of only 4.5°C on the 20th. Whilst not especially warm (equal 17th warmest since 1850), March 2007 was nevertheless more than 3°C warmer than March 2006. For this reason, the 12-month average up to and including March 2007 has once again leapt upwards compared to the February 2007 value. That was then the warmest ‘year’ on record at Durham ever, average temperature reaching 10.27°C, so this month’s value of 10.53°C is even more remarkable!

Like the rest of the north east, rainfall was low, unlike most of the country, with less than 50% of the normal amount.

It was sunnier than normal, the sunniest March since 2002. There were only 4 days without any sunshine, and the cumulative total for sunshine hours since the start of the year is now well above average.

Professor Tim Burt
Department of Geography
Durham University