A warm and wet March

Rain may not be the first thing you think about when reflecting on March 2019, but it was in fact the 5th wettest March on record for the UK as a whole.

Much of the rain fell during the first half of March and for many (except north west Scotland) there was a rather dry end to the month.  However, for the north and north-western areas of the UK, the rain in the first two weeks was enough to make the month overall very wet indeed.

Map shows March 2019 rainfall as a percentage of the 1981-2010 climatological average

Less than halfway through the month, Northern Ireland had already reached its average rainfall total, and by March 18th enough rain had fallen to make March 2019 the wettest March on record in NI.  A total 158.3mm of rain fell by the end of the month – two thirds more than the 95.1mm average, beating the previous wettest March record for NI from 1992 with 146.8mm.

It was the second wettest March on record for northwest England and North Wales with a total 192.3mm (182% of average) rain recorded, coming behind March 1981.

It wasn’t just a wet month though, it was also rather warm.

With a mean UK temperature of 6.8 C (1.3 C above average), March 2019 provisionally comes in 10th for the warmest March on record.

Map shows March 2019 mean temperature as a percentage of the 1981-2010 climatological average

Towards the end of the month high pressure brought settled, dry and sunnier weather, compensating for the rather wet first half to the month and allowing sunshine hours to creep up, especially in east and southeast parts of the UK.

Overall March 2019 had slightly more sunshine than average with 115.6 hours recorded, 114% of the average for the time of year.

Map shows March 2019 sunshine hours as a percentage of the 1981-2010 climatological average

Extreme weather elements for March 2019 in the UK
Element Value Site Date
Highest max 19.8C Kew Gardens (London) 30th
Highest min 11.0C Grangemouth (Stirlingshire) 21st
Lowest max 1.6C Salsburgh (Lanarkshire) 16th
Lowest min -6.9C Aboyne (Aberdeenshire) 5th
Highest daily rainfall 74.6mm Capel Curig (Gwynedd) 16th
Max gust 70kts Needles (Wight) 16th
Sunniest day 12.6hrs East Malling (Kent) 29th
Deepest snow depth 6cm Middleton (Derbyshire) & Mugdock Park (Stirlingshire) 10th & 11th
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