Record breaking weather

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THE Armagh Observatory has reported that March was exceptionally dull, and much colder and wetter than average.

It was the dullest March for 133 years, that is since records of bright sunshine at Armagh began in 1880, and the coldest March for 111 years, that is since the equally cool March of 1892.

The number of hours of sunshine was 52.0, approximately half (53%) the most recent 30-year (1981–2010) March average.

Total precipitation for the month was 90.2 mm (3.55 inches), which is nearly 40% more than the most recent 30-year (1981–2010) average. This was the wettest March for five years, that is, since 2008. There were 12 days with either no rain or just a trace.

The mean monthly temperature was 3.3 degrees Celsius (38.0 degrees Fahrenheit). This was nearly 3.4 degrees C lower than the most recent 30-year (1981-2010) average and the equal-fifth coldest March on record at Armagh, a record shared with the average March temperatures of 1833, 1867 and 1892.

There have only been four colder March months at Armagh since records began in 1795, namely those of 1837 and 1807 (equal mean temperatures of 2.7 degrees C), 1883 (3.1 degrees C) and 1888 (3.2 degrees C). The maximum air temperature was 10.9 degrees C, on the 5th, while the lowest air temperature was –5.7 C on the 12th. There were 25 nights with grass frost and 13 with air frost.