I’ve put together a few top 10s of stats for Wanstead, St James’s Park and Heathrow for the month of March.
The month, the first of the meteorological spring can offer really contrasting weather; perishing cold and very pleasant warmth are both very possible, as the values show.
Probably most notable in the list is the cold March of 1962 which was the coldest of the 20th century and 11th coldest in a local list going back to 1797. March 2013 was also very cold. Strong winds from deep depressions often feature as does the odd blizzard.
Marches in the 1960s also appear to often start very cold and end very warm; the term ‘In like a lion, out like a lamb’ being very appropriate.
Models suggest that the first half of this March, in stark similarity to 1962, will continue February’s cold theme with further hard frosts and occasional snow.
•Though this blog only covers extremes back to 1959, thanks to Met Office digitised data, I’ve unearthed records prior to this. Both W.A.L Marshall’s A Century of London Weather (covering 1841 to 1941) and J. H. Brazell’s London Weather (covering 1841 to 1964) confirm the coldest March day as the 13th in 1845 when 25F (-3.9C) was recorded at Greenwich.
The coldest March minimum was 4/5 in 1909 with 9F (-12.8C) at Epsom. Greenwich and Hampstead recorded 14F (-10C)