March set to be coldest in 51 years

Romsey Advertiser: Forecasters predict the unseasonable cold snap could last until mid-April Forecasters predict the unseasonable cold snap could last until mid-April

As snow continues to blanket parts of the UK, it will come as no surprise to many that the last 31 days look set to be the coldest March in more than 50 years.

Average temperatures between March 1 and 26 were just 2.5C (36.5F), three degrees below the long term average, the Met Office said.

This would make it the coldest March since 1962 and also the fourth coldest in the UK since records began in 1910.

Looking at individual countries, the Met Office said March would be the fourth coldest on record for England, joint third coldest for Wales, joint eighth coldest for Scotland and sixth coldest for Northern Ireland.

Sunday was also the coldest Easter day on record, the BBC said, with the mercury falling to minus 12.5C (9.5F) in Braemar in the Scottish Highlands.

Temperatures have varied wildly - on March 11 it plummeted to minus 12.9C (8.8F) at Kinbrace in the Highlands and Aboyne in Aberdeenshire, while on March 5 thermometers reached 17.5C (63.5F) at Trawsgoed in Ceredigion, west Wales.

Average maximum temperatures for the month ranged from 8.3C (46.9F) in the Isles of Scilly to 2.7C (36.9F) in North and West Yorkshire, while minimum temperatures ranged from 5.4C (41.7F) at the Isles of Scilly to minus 3.4C (25.9F) at Braemar.

Forecasters predict the unseasonable cold snap, which has caused chaos for farmers, the transport network and homeowners, could last until mid-April. Monday is expected to bring further freezing weather.

Alexi Boothman, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said the UK would experience a dry, cold day, with the occasional snow flurry in the east.

"Temperatures will reach a maximum of 7C (44.6F), but across the UK, in places like North Wales and Cumbria, it will be minus 4C (24.8F). Even London will be about minus 2C (28.4F), so it will be very cold."

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