SSEN's Weather Watch for March 2019
We had some astonishing winter weather during the second part of February, considerably warmer and sunnier than average.
A temperature of 21.2C was recorded in Kew Gardens, London, on 26 February, setting a new UK record for February and making it the first time 21C has been officially recorded in the UK during a winter season. 18.3C was observed at Aboyne in Abderdeenshire on 21 February setting a new Scottish record and 20.8C was recorded in Porthmadog, Gywnedd on 26 February setting a new Welsh record.
Looking at the winter (December to February) as a whole, it was the 7th warmest, 6th sunniest, and 23rd driest winter in series from 1910, according to the Met Office. The *map on our summary page shows the winter mean temperature departure from the long term average – nearly all of Europe was warmer than the 1981-2010 climatology.
Our analysis for March suggests the weather will be more like a lion than a lamb, as we expect a stronger than average jet stream to impact the weather of northwest Europe.
This means frequent wet and windy spells will come in from the nearby Atlantic, making for an unsettled and changeable spell of weather.
Temperature levels should remain close to average, without any significant cold snaps, but there may be one or two occasions of wet snow in places, although these will be more likely on the high ground of Scotland. Rainfall totals are forecast to be above average and the map shows the percentage of normal rainfall expected for the period 12-18 March. Much of northwest Europe is in the green colours, whereas Iberia and the western Mediterranean are orange (meaning drier than average here) and can be seen in the map above.
The last week of the month is likely to become more settled, especially in the south of the UK – some warmer, drier Spring days are expected during this time, so perhaps March will go out like a lamb in some locations.
We’ll be back in a few weeks to see if this potential settled weather becomes a trend for April. For more weather information you can follow our meteorologist, Simon Cardy on twitter @weather_king.
*with thanks to MeteoGroup / World Climate Service for the use of their maps