Following the sunniest winter in records dating back to 1929, March has continued the trend with above average sunshine hours according to early Met Office statistics.
Up to the 29th of the month, there had been 115.0 hours of sunshine which is slightly above the full-month long-term (1981-2010) average of 101.8 hours.
Northern Ireland has been particularly sunny compared to average, with 126.9 hours of sunshine so far this month – which is well ahead of its long-term March average of 97.7 hours.
It has also been a slightly drier than average month up to the 29th, with 80.4mm of rain for the UK so far making up about 85% of the long-term average for the whole month (95.1mm). We’d expect to have had about 94% of the full-month average by this stage of the month.
England has been particularly dry, with the 39.4mm notching up just 62% of the full month average (64.0mm).
Wales and Northern Ireland were also fairly dry (notching up 74% and 78% of their full month average respectively), whereas Scotland is slightly wetter than average – having seen 148.2mm of rain which is just over the full-month average.
When it comes to temperatures – the month has been spot-on average up to the 29th, with a mean temperature of 5.5C.
Looking closer at individual countries, England, Wales and Northern Ireland were all slightly colder than average (by no more than a few tenths of a degree), while Scotland again bucked the trend with slightly above average temperatures (by 0.3C).
Overall the month has been fairly average so far, with no records broken. The final figures are likely to change slightly once the final two days of the month are added.
You can explore Met Office statistics on our UK Climate pages.
UK statistics for 1-29 March:
|Mean Temperature||Sunshine hours||Rainfall|
||Actual||Diff to Avg||Actual||% of Avg||Actual||% of Avg|