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March was the second coldest on record

05-April-2013
05-April-2013 13:49
in Science

This winter seems to have gone on as long as any I can remember, and it seems like it might stretch well into April too if forecasts prove to be correct. It even surpasses the winter of two years ago, when Britain froze over from North to South during December 2009 going into 2010.

The stats seem to back it up, with the coldest ever temperature at Easter being recorded in Scotland.

Remarkably, even though we had a pretty cold winter, spring has so far been even colder, which is the first time this has occurred since 1949.

And with the 50th anniversary of the end of Britain's coldest winter falling in March, it was perhaps fitting that the month proved to be the second coldest March since records began more than 100 years ago.

The mean temperature was a shiveringly low 2.2 degrees celsius, which is over 3 degrees celisus colder than the average for the month.

Just as fittingly, March equalled the average temperature of the fiercely cold and prolonged winter of 1949, which was overall colder and longer. Only the March of 1962 was actually more freezing, recording an average temperature of 1.9 degrees celsius.

If there was one element of relief, it was that March was in fact drier than usual, with recorded rainfall being only 65% of the monthly average, even if it wasn't quite as sunny as a 'normal' March.

Don't be fooled into thinking this suggests global warming is in retreat however. Average temperatures are still rising around the globe, considerably so in key environmental areas such as the polar regions and mountain ranges such as the Alps.

Some experts believe that the world's ice caps melting increasingly rapidly could be the reason the UK is facing harsher winters and wetter summers. The theory is that the melting ice water impacts on the flow of the jet stream (the warm air brought up from the Southern Hemisphere) as it allows cold air from the Arctic to push much further south, causing recent freezing winters.

Likewise, in the summer, it may result in more extremes of both heat and rain.

Very cold winters which last well into march might be simply something that we have to get used to and start planning for, urgently, right now. The chances of Governments doing much seem slim right now though, given the economic difficulties we face.

About This Author

I run my own furnishings company and am married with 3 kids. When not ferrying the little darlings around, I can be found watching good films, drinking great wine, staying healthy and pouring over the business section of the newspapers.

This article is the work of a citizen author. It has not been edited or adulterated in any way.

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