March 2018

Weather Report – March 2018

In Plymtree March was certainly an interesting month weatherwise. The cold weather that began at the end of February continued into the first few days of March and there was heavy snow which began on the 1st and continued overnight turning to freezing rain before stopping. Freezing rain is caused when the air in the lowest layer of the atmosphere is warmer than at the surface so precipitation turns to rain but on hitting the very cold surface freezes immediately on impact creating a dangerous layer of ice. The total depth of snow measured on the morning of the 2nd was 13cm. Thanks to Richard Tift for measuring this as I was away at the time of this event. Thank you also to Ruth Clarke and Jean Tancock for supplying their daily figures so I could apportion the total in my raingauge on my return. There was also a return of the cold weather on the 17th and 18th with a further fall of snow again totalling 13cm. A mixture of rain and snow also fell on the 30th with a covering observed over the Blackdowns. The total rainfall (including melted snowfall) I measured for the month was 179.8mm. The average (1981-2010) at Dunkeswell Airfield is 79.9mm. This means that we received 225% of the Dunkeswell average, making it my wettest of any month on record since I began recording in December 2011.The wettest day of the month was the 14th with 33.0mm. There were 18 rain days (rainfall ≥ 1mm), which compares to an average of 12.7 days for Dunkeswell. The highest temperature I recorded during March was 14.2°C on the 10th and during the two cold snaps there were a few days when the temperature during the days didn’t get above freezing. The lowest temperature, -7.0°C was recorded on the1st. The strongest wind during March occurred during the early hours of the 3rd and the morning of the 17th when a gust of 29.8mph was recorded on both days by Pete Draper at Normans Green. The strongest wind I recorded was also on the 3rd with a gust of 22.6mph.

(Please note because of the heavy rainfall on the 14th the axis on the graph below has changed from that normally shown: i.e. 0-35mm rather than 0-25mm).

Mike Ayles