COOL MARCH, SUNNIER AND DRIER THAN AVERAGE. EXCEPTIONAL HIGH PRESSURE ON THE 29TH


Armagh Observatory reports that March 2020 was cool, sunnier and drier than average. The highest pressure recorded during the late morning of the 29th March, namely 1050.0 mbar (corrected to mean sea level), equalled or nearly equalled that at 09:00 GMT on 9th January 1896, which was the previous highest pressure recorded at Armagh in a data series extending back more than 170 years.


Total precipitation was 44.8 mm (1.76 inches) including two trace values, that is, 44.7 mm if trace values are ignored. This is approximately 81% of the long-term (1796–2010) average March precipitation at Armagh and 68% of the most recent (1981–2010) March average. This was the driest March at Armagh for four years. The wettest day was the 17th with 16.8 mm (0.66 inches) of precipitation, followed by the 9th with 9.9 mm. Snow was reported as falling on two days (the 2nd and 11th), and hail was observed on both the 2nd and 3rd.


The mean monthly temperature was 6.55 degrees Celsius (43.8 F), which is approximately 0.77 C warmer than the long-term (1796–2010) average February temperature at Armagh and 0.12 C cooler than the most recent (1981–2010) 30-year average. The warmest day (highest maximum air temperature) was 14.2 C on the 25th, followed by 13.8 C on the 26th. The coldest day (lowest maximum air temperature) was 7.3 C on the 1st, followed by 7.5 C on the 21st. The coolest night (lowest minimum air temperature) was -2.4 C on the 20th, followed by -0.7 C on the 29th. The warmest night (highest minimum air temperature) was 7.2 C on the 25th, followed by 6.7 C on the 26th.


There were 22 nights with ground frost (minimum grass temperature less than or equal to zero), of which the coldest was -8.7 C on the 29th followed by -8.1 C on the 20th. There were five nights with nighttime air frost (minimum air temperature less than or equal to zero). With a total of 128.8 hours of strong sunshine, March 2020 was much sunnier than average, approximately 17% more than the long-term (1881–2010) March average at Armagh and 31% more than the most recent (1981–2010) 30-year average. This was the sunniest March at Armagh for five years, that is, since March 2015. The sunniest day was the 22nd with 9.4 hours of strong sunshine, followed by 9.1 hours on the 19th.

It is interesting to note the daytime observation of a Pipistrelle bat in the Observatory grounds on the afternoon of the 18th.

These data refer to observations at Armagh Observatory, which has been recording the weather at Armagh since 1795.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Mark Bailey at the Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh, BT61 9DG. Tel.: 028-3752-2928; FAX: 028-37527174; mark.bailey@armagh.ac.uk; URL: http://climate.armagh.ac.uk/.


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