Coldest March since 1962

Friday 5 April 2013, 15:09

Derek Brockway Derek Brockway

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It's official, March 2013 was the coldest in Wales since 1962 and the 2nd coldest since records began in 1910 with a mean temperature of only 2.4 Celsius. The March average is 5.8 Celsius.

Unusually, March was also colder than the winter months - December, January and February.

This last time this happened was in 1975. It snowed in June that year and this was followed by a heat-wave!

The reason for the very cold start to spring this year has been a blocking high pressure to the north of Britain.

This has led to persistent north-easterly winds. These winds have been colder than usual because of below average sea surface temperatures in the North Sea.

The jet stream has been displaced well south over North Africa and the Mediterranean, so the weather there has been milder but wet and windy at times with low pressure systems bringing doses of heavy rain.

Next week the weather pattern is set to change. By next Friday the jet stream is predicted to finally move north again and low pressure will take control of our weather.

This means it will turn gradually less cold and more unsettled with rain and showers and a risk of snow on the mountains in the north.

In the meantime, this weekend will continue dry.

Saturday will be the sunniest day and with light winds it won't feel quite so cold in the strong sunshine which is good news if you're off to Aintree for the Grand National.

Saturday night will be dry with more frost. Sunday will turn cloudier and breezier but staying dry.

Temperatures should reach between 6 and 9 Celsius in the afternoon with a south to south-easterly wind.

Next week, temperatures will slowly rise closer to the seasonal average but we may have to wait until later in the month for the arrival of proper mild and spring-like weather - hopefully by April 15 with a bit of luck!

Derek

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