March 2024 Weather at Durham – Mild but damp

March 2024 The month was very much on the mild side, with little in the way of air frost (1 day). The maximum temperatures were disappointing, getting nowhere near the 20 degC mark that is always within reach in March. However March 2024 was 1.3C warmer than March 2023. The reason the month felt so damp was that the rainfall total of 50.6mm fell on 26 days. This made it feel like there were no dry spells of weather. This perception was correct. In fact the only two consecutive rainless days were the 18th and 19th. Overall, the 6 months ending in March 2024 have experienced rain on 75% of the days, with only very short breaks from the wetness. This is a pretty insidious sequence, and one that must break to give a chance of a decent summer. Latest March Posts

The Great Snowstorm of March 1888

The Great Snowstorm of 1888: A Winter Catastrophe in Durham One of the most remarkable weather events in the history of County Durham was the Great Snowstorm of 1888. This severe winter storm left an indelible mark on the region, with its impact resonating for years to come. From March 12 to March 15, County Durham was plunged into a state of chaos as heavy snowfall, strong winds, and subzero temperatures wreaked havoc on both rural and urban areas. The snowstorm began innocuously enough, with light snowfall on the morning of March 12. However, as the day progressed, the intensity of the snowfall rapidly increased. Thick flakes cascaded from the sky, transforming the landscape into a winter wonderland within a matter of hours. As the storm gathered momentum, blizzard conditions soon took hold, making visibility nearly impossible and exacerbating the already treacherous conditions. Unprecedented snowfall The snowfall during the Great Snowstorm of 1888 was unprecedented. Drifts of snow reached staggering heights, some exceeding 20 feet in places. The strong winds whipped the powdery snow into a frenzy, creating vast mounds that obstructed roads, railways, and pathways. Entire communities were cut off from the outside world, isolated in a sea of …

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March 2023 Weather in Durham – Cold and damp

March banner : daffodils

Where is Spring in Durham, I hear you ask? That is a question that is being asked more often on social media at the moment and i’m thinking the same thing. We’re getting very used to these mild winter temperatures, but Springs seem to come late. March 2023 can only be described as disappointing. It was pretty cold up to the 11th. There were 8 air frosts, mainly between 7th and 15th. Snow also made an appearance during that spell too. March 2023 was actually colder than February 2023. That is not unusual however. The rainfall total for the month wasn’t excessive at 56.8mm (although the mean is 41.1mm, so 38% above normal) , but it was incessantly damp, with no extended dry period. Rain fell on 28 of the 31 days. The wettest day was March 13th with 12.2mm. Again, not excessive, but it always seemed to be damp. The wet weather was mainly a consequence of low pressure dominance. After so many High Pressure months, March averaged 1008.9mb, a full 20mb below that of February 2023. There were some windy spells too, mainly from a Northerly quadrant. The -5.0 degC on the 8th was the coldest temperature of …

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March 2022 Weather in Durham – Continuing Mild and Dry

Bright sunshine in Durham Botanical Gardens March 2022

Temperature Once again, the temperature finishes above average. March 2022 came in at 7.3 degC, which is +1.1 degC up on the 1991-2020 average of 6.2 degC. Like February, there was a single air frost, under the influence of high pressure, on March 7th.  The minimum of -2.2 was unremarkable for March in Durham. The 20 degC mark was breached on March 25th. This got quite close to the warmest temperature ever recorded in March at Durham (21.8, 28/3/2012). The earliest date that 20 degC was reached in Durham remains 8th March 1929. The high was 20.4 degC The mean max was very respectable at 12.1 degC, and the mean min kept the month mild at night too. No real threat for gardeners, who by this time were starting to plant out stuff. Rainfall At what is the driest part of the year, March 2022 was just slightly drier than normal. The total of 35.4 mm was 86% of the average. There was a prolonged dry spell of 13 days ending on March 29th. This was a very pleasant spring-like period with high pressure and plenty of sunshine, broken by a couple of wet days at the end of the …

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March 2021 Weather in Durham – Dry and Warming

After what has seemed to be a long winter, the weather in March 2021 eventually eased us away from the bleakness of February for Durham. The first week was still cold, as high pressure persisted, but things became more mobile for a short period after the 10th, with more cyclonic conditions bringing a rise in temperature and the month’s only ‘wet spell’. The two warmest days were the last two. Beautiful conditions let the thermometer peak at just shy of 20 degC. Sunshine was abundant and it was true shirt sleeve weather. It felt like Spring was truly here at last after the Covid-19 winter had gnawed our bones. The total rain for the month was only 25.1mm and the short ‘wet spell’ from the 10th-13th contributed nearly 60% of that, the two wettest days of the month being the 10th (6.9mm) and 13th (5.1mm). This was the second consecutive dry March in Durham. Last year produced only 21.9mm and April 2020 was also dry. Let’s see if the same thing happens. March 2021 was dominated by High Pressure, with 24 anti-cyclonic days and an average pressure of 1022.0mb.

The last 5 Marches Weather in the UK according to Trevor Harley

2016 Low pressure at the start and end of the month sandwiching a ten-day anticyclonic spell from the 13th to the 23rd. The named Storm Katie brought strong winds to the south on the 28th. Overall temperatures were close to average, although it was colder in the south and more mild in the north. Rainfall was close to average (91%), although it was wetter in the east and drier in the north. It was sunnier than average, with 115% of the long-term average, particularly in the west. The highest temperature of the month was 18.7C at Braemar on the 17th, and the lowest -8.1C at Altnaharra on the 10th. The snow cover at Malham Tarn (North Yorkshire) reached 17 cm on the morning of the 4th. 2017 Very mild with frequent SW winds; it tended to be finer and more settled the further SE one was, although the third week was generally settled, with much sunshine. With a provisional CET of 8.8, you have to go back to 1957 (9.2) for one warmer, and it was the third warmest since 1900. The highest temperature of the month was 22.1C at good old Gravesend (Kent) on the 30th, and the lowest …

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March 2020 Weather in Durham – A strange month indeed!

March 2020 came in like a lion, with strong winds continuing to batter the country due to the proximity of low pressure systems. This was pretty much the theme of the winter, but at least the extreme wetness and flooding that we experienced in February abated. The month actually ended up being very dry when compared to the March average. Only 21.9mm of rain was recorded, the majority of which fell in the second week. The wettest day was the 11th; 7.1mm fell. By the end of the month the soggy ground had managed to dry out nicely from the previous month’s waterlogged state. There were 13 dry days, which is OK for March. Temperatures were unremarkable for March, but did peak out at 18.1 degC on the 25th (the one standout day). The mean maximum was 10.3 degC and the overnight minima were still on the chilly side, with 3 air frosts recorded on the 5th, 6th and 20th. The mean minimum was 2.8 degC and the absolute minimum was -1.9 degC on the 6th. The lowest atmospheric pressure was recorded on 1st of the month. This was in the wake of Storm Jorge. 973.4mb was a very low …

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March 2019 Weather in Durham – Warm and slightly wetter than average

March 2019 was another month of above average temperatures in Durham, with the monthly mean coming in at 7.2 degC, which is about 1.3 degrees above the long term average. The Maximum temperature was 17.1 degC on 29th, with the Minimum at 0.1 degC recorded on the morning of the 8th March. The rainfall total of 51.7mm fell mainly in the first half of the month, but was still about 20% above normal for March. The wettest day was 16th, with just over half an inch (13mm). This moderate total led to a rapid rise in the River Wear, which must have responded to a heavier fall in the hills. The river rose nearly 6ft on the Saturday in less than 12 hours.The river rose nearly 6ft on the Saturday in less than 12 hours. The first half of the month was dominated by low pressure, whilst the 2nd half was anticyclonic, resulting in this unequal distribution of rainfall.

Rapid Rise in The River Wear in Durham – 16th March 2019

Heavy rain overnight on 16th March resulted in the River Wear in Durham rising to 2.36m just after 9pm. This was a rise of 1.8m in less than 12 hours. The river was a raging torrent, lapping over riverside paths. The river also carried lots of broken tree branches and wood downstream, snagging on bridges and the weirs further around ‘the loop’. My weather station in Gilesgate only recorded 13mm of rain on the 16th, so the rainfall must have been much heavier in the hills that feed the River Wear in the previous day. The River Wear has been much higher than this in the past, but this episode was remarkable because of the rate of rise. You can check the river level in Durham at any time by following the link on the Useful Weather Links page here