March was mild and snowless

IN SUFFOLK and Essex last month saw yet another mild and snowless March with temperatures reaching above the average on no less than 26 days.At the Star weather station in Ipswich there were only five air frosts and rainfall was close to the long-term March average.

IN SUFFOLK and Essex last month saw yet another mild and snowless March with temperatures reaching above the average on no less than 26 days.

At the Star weather station in Ipswich there were only five air frosts and rainfall was close to the long-term March average.

Measurable rain fell on 10 days and the Ipswich total was 1.63 in (41.4 mm) compared with the March normal of 1.62 inches.

Heaviest 24-hour rainfall was 0.44 inches on March 15 but for much of the month daily totals were negligible.

At the meteorological office at Wattisham Airfield the total rainfall was 1.53 in (39 mm) and sunshine amounted to 92.2 hours.

High pressure dominated the weather pattern for many days of the month and daytime temperatures reached 59F(15C) on March 21 and 62F(17C) on March 30.

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Anticyclones were much in evidence for the last 11 days of the month and in consequence there was no measurable rain from March 22 to March 31.

High winds were a feature of the weather on three days and a maximum gust of 70 miles per hour was recorded at Honington on March 9 when westerly gales swept the region.

Lowest temperatures were recorded in the early hours of March 2 and in Ipswich the minimum value was 29F(minus 2C).

Lowest barometric pressure of the month was 989 millibars (29.21 inches) on March 18 as an active depression from the Atlantic progressed across England into the North Sea.

The vernal equinox occurred at 7.16 pm on March 20 when the sun crossed the equator to herald the beginning of spring.

On March 28 East Anglia was the sunniest spot in Britain with nearly 12 hours of bright sunshine along the whole of the coast from Hunstanton to Clacton-on-Sea.

Temperatures reached 62F(17C) at the start of the Easter weekend – a warmth more typical of mid-May.

The fine weather gave people the chance to make the most of the first spring holiday of the year, with both the coast and countryside attractions being popular destinations.

The weather during almost the whole of February and March has been characterised by a predominance of temperatures well in excess of average and an almost complete absence of cold easterly airstreams from the near-Continent or Scandinavia.

From January 1 to March 31 daytime maximum temperatures over much of the region have been above average on 71 days

By Star Weatherman Ken Blowers.

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