Miserable March set to be the coldest since 1962


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The Independent Online

This March is set to be the coldest in the UK since 1962, weather experts said today.

Statistics from the Met Office showed that from March 1 to 26 the UK mean temperature was 2.5C (36.5F), which is three degrees below the long-term average.

This made it the joint fourth coldest in the UK, in records going back to 1910.

The Met Office said this March was likely to be the fourth coldest on record for England, joint third coldest for Wales, joint eighth coldest for Scotland and sixth coldest for Northern Ireland.

This March joined 2006, 2001, 1995, 1987, 1979, 1970 and 1962 as years when the month saw some significant snowfall.

The coldest March in the UK was in 1962, at 1.9C (35.4F), followed by 1947, 2.2C (35.9F), 1937, 2.4C (36.3F), and 1916 and 1917, 2.5C (36.5F).

The cold weather is expected to continue through the Easter weekend and into April, a spokesman said.

Full figures for the month will be available later next week.

Trend-watchers will spot that the cold March of 1962 was followed by the notorious hard winter that saw widespread snow from December 1962 till March 1963.

Meanwhile forecasters forecast that the Big Chill will continue into next week at least. In the Home Counties, they say temperatures will feel like it's freezing in chill winds, even if the thermometer does struggle clear of 0C.