PLEASANT MARCH: SLIGHTLY DRIER, MILDER AND SUNNIER THAN AVERAGE

Armagh Observatory, 4 April 2016. Armagh Observatory reports that March 2016 was slightly drier, milder and sunnier than average.

Total precipitation was 43.9 mm (1.73 inches) including two trace values. This was approximately 79% of the long-term (1838-2010) average rainfall at Armagh but 67% of the most recent (1981-2010) 30-year average, which is 65.6 mm. The wettest day was the 25th, with 13.6 mm (approximately 0.5 inches) of rain. There were more than a dozen days with little or no rain at all.

The mean temperature for the month was approximately 6.85 degrees Celsius (44.3 F), roughly 1.1 C warmer than the long-term (1796-2010) average March temperature at Armagh, but only 0.2 C warmer than the most recent 30-year (1981-2010) March average. The warmest day (highest maximum air temperature) was 14.2 C, which occurred on both the 12th and 13th; and the coldest night (lowest minimum air temperature) was -1.2 C, on the 7th. There were several quite sharp ground frosts, notably the 18th and the 7th, and two mornings with light snow cover. Overall, there were 20 nights with ground frosts (minimum grass temperature less than or equal to zero degrees Celsius) and 4 with nighttime air frosts.

A total of 117.3 hours of strong sunshine were recorded this month at Armagh, which is approximately 7% more than the long-term (1881-2010) average at Armagh and nearly 20% more strong sunshine than the most recent (1981-2010) 30-year average. The sunniest days were St Patrick´s Day (March 17th) and the 28th, both with 9.9 hours of strong sunshine. This was the sunniest St Patrick´s Day at Armagh for more than 135 years, that is, since the Observatory´s daily sunshine records began in 1881. The sunniest St Patrick´s days at Armagh are now 2016 (9.9 hours), and 2008, 1979 and 1899 (each with 9.8 hours of strong sunshine).

These data refer to observations at Armagh Observatory, which has been recording the weather at Armagh since 1795.

For further information please contact: Mark Bailey at the Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh, BT61 9DG. Tel.: 028-3752-2928; FAX: 028-3752-7174; mebat signarm.ac.uk; URL: http://climate.arm.ac.uk

Last Revised: 2016 April 7th