After the warmest February ever recorded...Marlborough got a distinctly chilly March
There was one day during March 2016 when a comment made by Charles Dickens would best describe the weather: “It was one of those days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade”.
On the fifteenth day of March, the thermometer soared to 15.2C. That day gave us 11.36 hours of sunshine, wind gusts were measured up to 28mph, but the when the sun set the temperature dropped a full 11C.
March certainly came in like a lion with several nights of hard frost, the lowest occurring on March 8 with a minimum of -5.1C. Not only were the nighttime temperatures depressed, but so were the daytime maxima.
The coldest day, March 9, reached a maximum temperature of only 5.7C - and that is against the daytime average in March for Marlborough since 1984 of 10.4C.
It was the coldest March in Marlborough for three years with the average temperature 1.2C below the 32-year average. Only at the end of the month did the daytime temperatures rise a little above the mean.
An air frost was recorded on fifteen separate days, which is six days above the long-term average.
Snow and hail fell on March 2, snow pellets were observed two days later and wet snow mixed in with rainfall the following day. Wet snow was also seen, briefly, in a heavy rain shower on March 28.
Rainfall was a notable feature with a total of 94.5mm making it the third wettest March since my records began in 1984 - being 38mm above the mean for the month. There were two days with considerable rainfall, namely March 8 and 27 when the daily totals were 27.2mm and 30.7mm respectively.
The amount of sunshine during the month - at 92.9 hours - was a fraction below the March average. However, the maximum UV level noted was the lowest since this instrument was installed seven years ago.
Although the latter part of the month saw some slightly warmer and quieter days, the very low pressure system brought by storm ‘Katie’ at the very end of the month produced gusts of 39mph and 48mph on March 26 and 27 respectively - enough to damage some trees in the area.
Will April bring those 'sweet spring showers'? More importantly, will they go 'on and on for hours and hours'?