March 2016

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

Mean daily maximum: 9.1
Difference from average: +0.7

Mean daily minimum: 2.4
Difference from average: +0.8

Mean air temperature: 5.8
Difference from average: +0.8

Absolute maximum: 13.0 (21st)

Absolute minimum: -1.8 (8th)

Mean grass minimum: -0.4

Absolute grass minimum: -5.2 (7th)

Number of ground frosts: 11

Number of air frosts: 5

Mean soil temperature at 30cm depth: 6.5

Mean soil temperature at 100cm depth: 6.8

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

Total for the month: 58.0
Difference from average: +6.8

Percentage of the average: 113%

Wettest day: 15.2 (4th)

Number of rain days (>0.25mm): 13

Number of wet days (=> 1mm): 10

3-month total rainfall to 31st March: 202.6
Difference from average: +30.6

6-month rainfall total to 31st March: 497.2
Difference from average: +151.0

12-month rainfall total to 31st March: 834.8
Difference from average: +185.8

Humidity
(averages for 09:00 hours GMT)

Relative Humidity: 83%

Sunshine
(all averages 1961 – 1990)

Total for the month: 88.5 hours
Difference from average: -17.0

Percentage of the average: 84%

Mean daily sunshine: 2.9 hours
Difference from average: -0.5

Sunniest day: 8.5 hours (25th)

Number of days with no recorded sunshine: 2

Cumulative total sunshine since 1st January: 207.1 hours
Difference from average: -17.6

ISSN1350-483

Comments on March 2016
Although March did not feel particularly mild, it was in fact well above average temperature, the 55th equal warmest in 168 years, and there were fewer ground frosts than usual (average = 16).

Rainfall was just a little above average but the long-period totals remain well above average.

There was less sunshine than usual but only two days with no recorded sunshine at all. Shallow soil temperatures are now above 6°C so spring growth should be starting!

Professor Tim Burt
Department of Geography
Durham University