WARM MARCH, SUNNIER AND WETTER THAN AVERAGE

Armagh Observatory, 4th April 2017: Armagh Observatory reports that March 2017 was warmer, sunnier and wetter than average, the warmest March for five years, that is, since the very warm March 2012. Following a very dry autumn and winter, this was also the wettest March for four years, that is, since March 2013.

Total precipitation this March was 71.2 mm (2.80 inches), including four trace values. This was nearly 30% more than the long-term (1838–2010) average March precipitation at Armagh and nearly 10% more than the most recent (1981–2010) 30-year average precipitation at Armagh. This was the wettest March at Armagh for four years, that is, since March 2013. The wettest day was the 3rd, with 22.2 mm of rainfall.

Snow was reported shortly before 9.00am on the 21st, and ice pellets on the afternoon of the 15th and during early evening on the 20th. A rainbow was noted on the afternoon of the 31st.

The mean monthly temperature was approximately 8.2 degrees Celsius (46.8 degrees Fahrenheit), 2.4 C warmer than the long-term (1796–2010) average March temperature at Armagh and 1.5 C warmer than the most recent (1981–2010) 30-year average. This was the warmest March at Armagh for five years, that is, since the very warm March 2012.

The warmest day (highest maximum air temperature) was 17.6 C on the 29th, followed by 17.0 C on the 25th. The warmest night (highest minimum air temperature) was 10.6 C on the 30th, the warmest March night for 12 years (that is, since the exceptionally warm night of 2005 March 18). The coolest day (lowest maximum air temperature) was 7.1 C on the 3rd, and the coldest night (lowest minimum air temperature) was -2.1 on the 25th. There were 14 nights with ground frost, the coldest of which was -6.9 C on the 25th, and four nights with air frost.

With a total of 116.0 hours of strong sunshine, March 2017 was sunnier than average despite a majority of days with few or no hours of strong sunshine. The month was approximately 5% sunnier than the long-term (1881–2010) March average at Armagh, and nearly 20% sunnier than the most recent (1981–2010) 30-year March average. The sunniest days were the 25th, 26th and 24, with respectively 9.9, 9.8 and 9.3 hours of strong sunshine. In contrast to last year's St. Patrick's Day, which was the sunniest at Armagh since daily sunshine records began at Armagh in 1881, this year's St. Patrick's Day recorded no strong sunshine at all; the last time this happened at Armagh was 17th March 2006. It is interesting to note a report of a low-flying buzzard over the Astropark around 9.00am on the 7th and a kestrel on the 10th.

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: 2017 April 5th