UK weather keeps us guessing, with both sun and rainfall dipping in March

There was a considerable difference in the hours of sunshine between March this year and 2020. Even with the warm and sunny last few days of the month there were many earlier in March without any direct sunshine at all. Totals were 50% down in places. This statistic is made more surprising because the country’s rainfall was also below average last month after a very wet winter.

With April starting cold and large parts of the country returning to cloudy conditions, the contrast with the start of the first lockdown last year could not be starker. Then, most of the British Isles were both warmer and bathed in continuous sunshine for weeks.

It demonstrates again what a lottery British weather is for farmers and gardeners and despite how much computing power and research effort is expended, how wise our forecasters are not to make firm predictions beyond five days.

With foreign holidays to destinations where summer weather is more reliable unlikely this year, it would helpful to know what the next few months will be like in the UK. But with memories of the forecast “barbecue summer” of 2009, which caused ridicule when it turned into a flooding nightmare, the Met Office is sensibly leaving us to rely on our own guesswork.

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