Monthly Summary - March 2014

   In comparison to the winter just gone March was much quieter. It remained mild and at times, especially with high pressure building mid month, it was also sunny. Towards the month's end it became quite misty and grey with a cool easterly wind drawn in from the continent.

   Mean SLP finally managed to attain normality and was just above average by +0.7 Mb with pressure at its highest 7-16th during which the 10-13th were especially glorious days. However, we also saw periods when we were on the periphery of high pressure and the result was less kind with cool winds drawn in.

   Overall a mean minimum of 2.82°c and a mean maximum of 10.07°c saw the temperature some 1.0°c above the 1981-2010 average, making it the warmest March since 2012. More pleasing is that this month the mean maximum showed a greater departure from the norm' by +1.3°c than the mean minimum (+0.8°c) and the number of air frosts was again below average.

   It was the wettest March since 2008 and rainfall locally was typically 85-98% of the March average. At Newton Rigg (61.0 mm - EA gauge) in a series back to 1914, it was the 45th wettest March (3 years of incomplete data).

   Figures from the Environment Agency’s rainfall sites were, (figure in brackets being the monthly average for 1961-90)   ‘Data kindly provided by the Hydrometry and Telemetry team of the Environment Agency (Penrith)’:

   Kirkby Thore 54.2 mm (55.1 mm)

   Brothers Water 207.2 mm (219 mm)

   Nunwick Hall 51.0 mm (60.0 mm) and

   294.6 mm at Seathwaite Farm (Borrowdale - 268 mm).


   1st - 5th    Although low pressure (LP) virtually surrounded the UK, the month started under a slack pressure gradient through to the 5th giving some reasonable conditions. The month opened with what would be its coldest day, 6.9°c (44.4°f) and after some rain 1st-2nd, things settled down and there followed a few sunny days.

   Temperatures were a little cool by night with ground frost common and at the end of the period a slight ridge of high pressure (HP) built but which would soon give way to a frontal system approaching from the Atlantic.


  6th    Frontal systems lay across the UK 6th giving the month's wettest day (22.5 mm) with the rain becoming increasingly heavier as the day progressed and was at its heaviest overnight into the 7th as yet more fronts moved through.


  7th - 9th    A quieter spell after the fronts overnight into the 7th cleared east giving an improving picture of sunny spells. We sat at the edge of HP that extended up from Europe over the southern part of the UK with a warm front venturing north (8th) and which would introduce milder air.

   It then became overcast as a cold front to the northwest of Scotland became slow moving due to the presence of the HP.


  10th - 13th    Was a truly glorious spell of early spring weather with wall to wall sunshine and pleasantly warm days. HP (1037 MB) became established over the UK and whilst we had air frosts each night the days soon warmed up under clear skies. The 11th started with a frost of -2.0°c (28.4°f) but would be the month's warmest day at 14.8°c (58.6°f).


  14th - 17th    The period was notable for the increasing strength of the wind as the HP slipped southwest allowing a fresh and cool W-WNW'ly wind over its top flank. Although feeling cooler temperatures held up above 10°c and due to the extensive cover of cloud night time minima also rose giving some mild nights, overnight 16-17th at 8.2°c being an especially mild night.


  18th -20th    It now slowly turned more unsettled as frontal systems from the Atlantic started to feed in. It remained windy with the HP still over Europe causing the frontal systems to squeeze up and strengthen the wind.

   A typical mix of spring conditions followed until an approaching cold front (20th) with a band of heavy rain (14.6 mm) and strong winds (gusting 52 Mph) pushed the milder air away and introduced much cooler conditions.


  21st - 24th    Colder air from the north now covered the UK and which brought an unstable westerly airflow that fed in some wintry showers. There was also a noticeable dip in temperatures, down to a maximum of 7.3°c 22nd (althought the same day last year remained below freezing all day!).

   But through the 23rd a ridge of HP built from the west and which gave two settled days with the 24th especially glorious in big blue skies, although after the month's coldest night of -3.5°c (25.7°f).


  25th - 29th    The HP was shunted away 25th by a weak frontal system approaching from the west and which would give a grey and damp day although not especially wet. Slow moving occluded fronts tended to circulate around the UK during this time and the 28-29th were both especially grey and gloomy days.

   An easterly flow became dominant, fed in over HP in Europe and which was responsible for keeping temperatures surpressed throughout the period with some quite cold days and a cool breeze. The 27th felt chilly and then for the majority of the day, the 28th struggled to attain 5°c as the wind backed to an ENE'ly.

   The 29th was also chilly and quite misty until the late afternoon when the sun suddenly appeared and the temperature rose sharply to 11.4°c and whilst the mist descended during tea-time there was a gradual shift in the wind direction and something a little milder.


  30th - 31st    We now lay between weather systems, HP over Scandinavia and several areas of LP to our SW, which had the effect of drawing in a SE'ly flow from the near continent and which gave that slightly milder flow.

   However, it was rather hazy with the 30th being the better day as the 31st was quite misty; temperatures on both days getting up to 13.0°c. Rain (14.0 mm) arrived late evening as a cold front moved north from the SW and which would give some heavy rain into the 1st.

   Daffodils bloomed at this site on the 30th, a fairly average date for doing so.


   Rainfall totalled 92.5 mm for the month, with rain recorded on 17 days of which 11 were 'Wet days' (1.0mm +).

   The Mean Temperature for the month was 6.45°c      --      The Mean Max' was   10.07°c     --      The Mean Min'   2.82°c.

   We had 5 Air Frosts in the month (year 10)                  --      Grass frosts totalled 19 (year 40).

   The 1 foot soil temp ranged from a low of 5.1°c on the 4th        to      a high of 7.8°c on the 20th and 31st     --      with a monthly mean of 6.5°c

   The 1 meter soil temp ranged from a low of 6.0°c on the 2nd-7th      to      a high of 7.0°c on the 20-27th     --     with a monthly mean of 6.6°c



   * March 2014 rainfall was 143.2% of the March average for 2008 - 2013

   * March 2014 was 1.41°c warmer than the March average for 2009 - 2013 and 1.0°c warmer than the local long term average 1981-2010

 * The 3 month mean for January/February/March 2014 is                    TEMP'     5.30°c         --          RAIN    547.7 mm

* January/February/March 2013 was TEMP'     2.37°c -- RAIN    176.7 mm

* January/February/March 2012 was TEMP'     5.04°c -- RAIN    159.7 mm

* January/February/March 2011 was TEMP'     4.32°c -- RAIN    377.2 mm

* January/February/March 2010 was TEMP'     2.18°c -- RAIN    140.6 mm

* January/February/March 2009 was TEMP'     4.24°c -- RAIN    299.3 mm

* January/February/March 2008 was     -- RAIN    450.8 mm


JANUARY 2010    FEBRUARY 2010    MARCH 2010    APRIL 2010    MAY 2010    JUNE 2010    JULY 2010    AUGUST 2010    SEPTEMBER 2010    OCTOBER 2010    NOVEMBER 2010    DECEMBER 2010   

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JANUARY 2013    FEBRUARY 2013    MARCH 2013    APRIL 2013    MAY 2013    JUNE 2013    JULY 2013    AUGUST 2013    SEPTEMBER 2013    OCTOBER 2013    NOVEMBER 2013    DECEMBER 2013    REVIEW OF 2013   

JANUARY 2014    FEBRUARY 2014    WINTER 2014   

   © Darren Rogers 2014

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