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Met Office says England has had the wettest March since 1981 after a very dry February, with fewer hours of sunshine too





England has had its wettest March for over 40 years says the Met Office.

As we all eagerly await the first signs of spring, meteorologists say the rainfall has broken all records this month according to provisional statistics.

England has had the wettest March since 1981. Image: iStock.
England has had the wettest March since 1981. Image: iStock.

Using data up to March 30, England, Wales and Northern Ireland have all so far had one of their respective top 10 wettest Marches on records which go back to 1836.

It has been England's wettest March since 1981 – with 111.3mm of rain falling up to March 30. But with further heavy rain soaking many areas on Friday – the final tally will be confirmed at the start of April.

It's been a very wet March says the Met Office. Image: Met Office.
It's been a very wet March says the Met Office. Image: Met Office.

After February was declared on of the driest – weather watchers say rain over the last four to five weeks has been in 'stark contrast'.

The Met Office’s Dr Mark McCarthy added: “Although the month started cold and dry for many, moist, milder air soon pushed up from the south bringing frequent heavy periods of rain, this being longest-lasting in the southern half of the UK.

"Overall this has been an unsettled month dominated by Atlantic low pressure weather systems. many parts of southern and central England and south Wales have received more than double their average rainfall for March, which is in stark contrast to the dry February England experienced."

Water levels have been left struggling to recover after the 2022 heatwave and drought. Image; Stock photo.
Water levels have been left struggling to recover after the 2022 heatwave and drought. Image; Stock photo.

This month's rainfall will have helped struggling water levels says the Environment Agency, which has been asking people to use water wisely.

Executive director and National Drought Group chairman John Leyland said: “Rainfall in March has helped water levels improve, but it follows on the heels of a very dry February so there is a need to remain vigilant – especially in areas that have not recovered from the drought last year."

Gardeners are hoping for stunning spring displays of blossom. Image: Stock photo.
Gardeners are hoping for stunning spring displays of blossom. Image: Stock photo.

Alongside some very wet weather, the majority of the UK has also had a duller than average month in terms of sunshine hours too, believes the Met Office which is looking at early data.

A lack of sunshine and warm temperatures is thought to be behind the 'pause' in spring being witnessed in many areas as flowers and cherry blossom still shows few signs of blooming.

But gardening experts are hopeful that when the weather does eventually warm up it will trigger an explosion of spring flowers so Instagram-worthy it could rival areas like Japan, famous for blossom displays.



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