March 2011

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

Mean daily maximum: 10.5
Difference from average: +2.1

Mean daily minimum: 2.1
Difference from average: +0.5

Mean air temperature: 6.3
Difference from average: +1.3

Absolute maximum: 18.7 (23rd)

Absolute minimum: -4.2 (3rd)

Mean grass minimum: -0.2

Absolute grass minimum: -6.9 (3rd)

Number of ground frosts: 16

Number of air frosts: 8

Mean soil temperature at 30cm depth: 6.4

Mean soil temperature at 100cm depth: 7.0

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

Total for the month: 24.8
Difference from average: -26.4

Percentage of the average: 48%

Wettest day: 16.0 (11th)

Number of rain days (>0.25mm): 6

Number of wet days (=> 1mm): 5

3-month total rainfall to 31st March: 131.2
Difference from average: -20.6

6-month rainfall total to 31st March: 386.4
Difference from average: +62.7

12-month rainfall total to 31st March: 679.8
Difference from average: +30.8

Humidity
(Averages for 09:00 hours GMT)

Relative Humidity: 83%

Sunshine
(all averages 1961 – 1990)

Total for the month: 157.2 hours
Difference from average: +51.7

Percentage of the average: 149%

Mean daily sunshine: 5.1 hours
Difference from average: +1.7

Sunniest day: 7.2 hours (7th)

Number of days with no recorded sunshine: 0

Cumulative total sunshine since 1st January: 288.5 hours
Difference from average: +63.8

Wind

The mast is still broken, we hope to replace it soon.

ISSN1350-483

Comments on March 2011
Temperatures in March were well above normal, but not exceptionally so. The mean air temperature was just into the upper quartile for 161 years of record. Daytime temperatures were well above average, but night-time minima only just so. April was also a dry month, with just less than half the expected amount of rainfall. The 3-month total was below average for the first time since the period April – June last year. It was the 9th sunniest March on record, but not unusual recently as both 2009 and 2003 were sunnier.

Professor Tim Burt
Department of Geography
Durham University