Skip to main content

March 2024

SUMMARY OF THE METEOROLOGICAL READINGS AT DURHAM UNIVERSITY OBSERVATORY

March 2024

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

Mean daily maximum: 10.1 Difference from average: +0.2
Mean daily minimum: 4.0 Difference from average: +1.5
Mean air temperature: 7.1 Difference from average: +0.9
Absolute maximum: 14.7 (19th)
Absolute minimum: -1,8 (4th)
Mean grass minimum: 2.5 Difference from average: +1.9
Absolute grass minimum: -4.4 (4th)
Mean concrete minimum: 3.1
Absolute concrete minimum: -3.8 (4th)
Number of ground frosts: 8 Difference from average: -6
Number of air frosts: 4 Difference from average: -3
Mean soil temperature at 300 mm depth: 7.5
Mean soil temperature at 1000 mm depth: 7.7

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

Total for the month: 51.6 Difference from average: +10.3
Percentage of the average: 125%
Wettest day: 9.2 (1st)
Number of rain days (>0.1 mm): 23 Difference from average: +8
Number of wet days (=>1.0 mm): 13
3-month total rainfall to 31st March 2024: 168.6 Difference from average: -31.1
6-month total rainfall to 31st March 2024: 519.0 Difference from average: +131.4
12-month total rainfall to 31st March 2024: 896.8 Difference from average: +215.8

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

Total for the month: 96.1 Difference from average: -24.4
Percentage of the average: 80%
Mean daily sunshine: 3.1 Difference from average: -0.8
Sunniest day: 9.6 (22nd)
Number of days with no recorded sunshine: 3

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: 72.4 (23rd, 13:45, WSW)

Comments on March 2024

Mean air temperature in March was above average for the 8th month in a row. Daytime temperatures were not exceptional: the mean maximum was only just above average and the total of 18 days above 10 °C was just two above the average. Nighttime temperatures were comparatively mild: the mean minimum (4.0 °C) is the sixth highest on record since 1844. Notwithstanding the caveats about daytime temperatures, March proved to be the 16th warmest on record since 1844. The mean grass minimum (2.5 °C) was the equal 4th highest for March (with 1990), exceeded only in 1938 (3.8 °C), 1957 (3.2 °C) and 1960 (2.6 °C).

Rainfall was above average, 125% of the 1991-2020 monthly average. There were 23 rain days, so rainfall was frequent if never exceptionally high on any given day. For the second month in a row, hours of bright sunshine were below average.

Emeritus Professor Tim Burt
Department of Geography
Durham University

[email protected]