March 2020

(all temperatures in degrees Celsius; all averages 1961 – 2010)

Mean daily maximum: 10.2
Difference from average: +0.7

Mean daily minimum: 2.1
Difference from average: -0.2

Mean air temperature: 6.1
Difference from average: +0.2

Absolute maximum: 16.6 (25th)

Absolute minimum: -3.0 (6th)

Mean grass minimum: 0.0

Absolute grass minimum: -6.1 (6th)

Mean concrete minimum: 1.1

Absolute concrete minimum: -3.5 (5th)

Number of ground frosts: 16

Number of air frosts: 7

Mean soil temperature at 30cm depth: 6.4

Mean soil temperature at 100cm depth: 6.5

(all totals in millimetres; all averages 1961 – 2010)

Total for the month: 26.6
Difference from average: -15.7

Percentage of the average: 63%

Wettest day: 9.0 (11th)

Number of rain days (>0.2mm): 13

Number of wet days (=>1.0mm): 9

3-month total rainfall to 31st March: 148.6
Difference from average: -25.2

6-month rainfall total to 31st March: 374.6
Difference from average: +28.4

12-month rainfall total to 31st March: 786.8
Difference from average: +137.8

(all averages 1961 – 1990)

Total for the month: 143.3 hours
Difference from average: +29.1

Percentage of the average: 126%

Mean daily sunshine: 4.6 hours
Difference from average: +0.9

Sunniest day: 11.2 hours (26th)

Number of days with no recorded sunshine: 0

Cumulative sunshine since 1st January: 318.8
Difference from average: +64.3

(all data from West Building roof, Lower Mountjoy)

Average wind speed: 7.7kph

Maximum gust: 77.2kph (14:15, 12th, WSW)


Comments on March 2020
This month was beset by connectivity problems and some data have been lost. My thanks to Ken Cook for sharing Copley data, from which I could make some estimates of Durham weather for the missing days, and to Durham graduate Chris Mueller from the Met Office who was able to restore most of the missing daily files.

Mean air temperature was just above average with mean maximum well above average but mean minimum below. The absolute maximum was a respectable 16.6°C on the 25th. There were 16 ground frosts and 7 air frosts. Rainfall was below average, unlike places further south which had a very wet first half to the month. There were 13 rain days but a maximum daily total of only 9mm. Sunshine was above average for the third month in a row and there were no sunless days. There were some very windy days. The gust of 62.8 early on the morning of the 1st came at the tail end of the passage of Storm Jorge which caused so much disruption at the end of February and into March. The highest gust was on the 12th (77.2kph), the third day in a row with a gust above 70kph.

Emeritus Professor Tim Burt
Department of Geography
Durham University