Provisional full-month statistics show that East Anglia and South East & Central Southern England have had their equal mildest March since records began in 1910, and for the UK as a whole it was provisionally the 5th equal warmest March for the same period.
East Anglia had a mean temperature of 9.1°C, equal to 1938, while South East & Central Southern England recorded 9.2°C, equal to 1957. The UK as a whole recorded 7.3°C as its mean temperature for March 2017, equal with 1948 and cooler only than 1938, 1957, 1961, and 2012.
The highest temperature recorded in March was 22.1 °C at Gravesend, in Kent, on Thursday 30 March. Tim Legg, climate scientist in the Met Office’s National Climate Information Centre, said: “It is very rare to go above 22 °C in March, with only three years since 1968 recording 22 °C or above, these are: 17 March 1990, when 22.6 °C was recorded at High Beach; and 23.6 °C at Aboyne in 2012.
“After this we have to go way back to 29 March 1968, when we recorded 25.6 °C at Mepal in Cambridgeshire: currently the all-time March record.”
As well as mild daytime temperatures March also brought mild nights to some. England had fewer air frosts than in any other March since records of air frost began in 1961, with several stations in the south including Farnborough, Larkhill and Boscombe Down having had no air frosts at all this month.
The provisional rainfall map for March shows that the majority of the UK had around average rainfall, although Wales and north-west England were rather wetter. However, parts of South-Eastern England and northern and western Scotland received less rainfall than average , and for the UK as a whole it has been the driest Oct-Mar period since 1995/96.
Essex recorded the lowest total rainfall of any county in the UK, with just 26.3mm of rain falling, while Sussex received just 59% of its expected rainfall for the month (1981–2010 average).
As well as Scotland having just below the average rainfall for the month, it has also been the sixth sunniest March since 1929 with 123.8 hours of sunshine.
|Provisional March 2017 data||Mean temp (°C)||Sunshine (hours)||Rainfall (mm)|
|Actual||Diff from avg (°C)||Actual||% of avg||Actual||% of avg|
No named storms occurred during the month. However, as Tim Legg added: “The UK was fortunate not to be hit by a storm, which brought some exceptionally strong and damaging winds to northern France on 6 March.”
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