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March 2023


March 2023

Temperatures (all temperatures in degrees Celsuis; all averages 1991-2020)

Mean daily maximum: 9.9     Difference from average: 0.0

Mean daily minimum: 2.8      Difference from average: +0.3

Mean air temperature: 6.3      Difference from average: +0.1

Absolute maximum: 15.5 (30th)

Absolute minimum: -7.0 (8th)

Mean grass minimum: 1.6      Difference from average: +1.0

Absolute grass minimum: -9.4 (8th)

Mean concrete minimum: 2.2

Absolute concrete minimum: -6.5 (8th)

Number of ground frosts: 9    Difference from average: -5

Number of air frosts: 9           Difference from average: +2

Mean soil temperature at 300 mm depth: 7.2

Mean soil temperature at 1000 mm depth: 7.4

Rainfall (all totals in millimetres; all averages 1991-2020)

Total for the month: 52.8        Difference from average: +11.5

Percentage of the average: 128%

Wettest day: 10.6 (13th)

Number of rain days (>0.1 mm): 28   Difference from average: +13

Number of wet days (=>1.0 mm): 14

3-month total rainfall to 31st March 2022: 109.0         Difference from average: -30.7

6-month total rainfall to 31st March 2022: 362.8         Difference from average: +23.5

12-month total rainfall to 31st March 2022: 641.6       Difference from average: -39.4

Sunshine (all totals in hours; all averages 1991-2020)

Total for the month: 97.2                    Difference from average: -23.3

Percentage of the average:  81%

Mean daily sunshine: 3.5       Difference from average: -0.4

Sunniest day: 11.2 (27th)

Number of days with no recorded sunshine: 0

Note that the monthly sunshine total is now calculated from the UKMO E&NE regional total. Daily sunshine totals quoted here and in the data summary are uncorrected.

Wind (kph; all data from the West Building roof, Lower Mountjoy campus)


Average wind speed: 5.9

Maximum gust: 74 (22nd, 15:30,

Comments on March 2023

It is not that unusual for March to be colder than February: this has happened 38 times in 180 years; this year March was 0.4 °C colder than February. It was decidedly a month of two halves, and the daily maximum temperature did not exceed 10 °C until the 12th, with a maximum of only 2.7 °C on the 9th. Much milder conditions in the second half of the month meant that, overall, the mean air temperature for the whole month was just above average. Despite seeming disappointing, March 2023 had the same mean air temperature as March 2020, both being warmer than March 2018 (4.1 °C) and March 2013 (2.4 °C). It was in fact the equal 141st warmest March in 180 years. The mean daily maximum was exactly average (1991-2020), whilst the mean daily minimum was a little above average. Whilst generally not bitterly cold, the minimum temperature on the night of the 8th (-7.0 C) is nevertheless the equal 48th coldest March night on record since 1850 (n=5394). It is unusual that the number of air frosts equalled the number of ground frosts. Rainfall was above average, the equal 118th wettest March since 1850. There was measurable rainfall on 28 days but there was no day without measurable sunshine. Even so, the amount of sunshine was below average. Only 5 Marches have been duller this century, the most recent in 2018.

Emeritus Professor Tim Burt

Department of Geography

Durham University

[email protected]