March days the warmest for half a century in East Anglia

The start of spring in the Anglia region has been exceptionally mild Photo: Linda Bohea

The mild winter has continued into a warm start to spring with the Anglia region seeing among the highest temperatures on record for the month of March.

Daytime temperatures were around 3°C above normal making March the warmest in East Anglia since 1961 and provisionally the third warmest since records started in East Anglia in 1910. It's a stark contrast to March 2013 which saw the lowest daytime temperatures on record in the Anglia region.

Initial analysis of the weather data suggests March 2014 saw an average daytime maximum in East Anglia region of 13.1°C. That compared to the long-term average for the month of 10.3°C. In March 2013 the figure was just 5.7°C.

Daytime temperatures in the Anglia region are provisionally the warmest since 1961 Credit: Met Office / ITV News Anglia

Overnight temperatures were only slightly above normal so the overall mean temperature for the month - which takes into account daytime highs and night time lows - was the fifth highest on record for March.

Overall March was the warmest in East Anglia since 1997 with a mean temperature of 8.2°C. The warmest March since records started in 1910 was in 1938 with a mean temperature of 9.1°C.

Newborn lambs in Ecton village near Northampton Credit: Carol Howard

It was also a dry and sunny month in the Anglia region with only about half the usual rainfall and up to 40% more sunshine.

The region saw an average of more than 5 hours of sunshine per day during the month when 3¾ hours is nearer normal.

It was the ninth sunniest March in East Anglia since records started in 1929. There have been sunniest ones recently though in 2007 and 2003.

Felixstowe seafront in the March sunshine
Felixstowe seafront in the March sunshine Credit: Kirsty Marsh
  • The highest temperature of the month was record in Santon Downham, Suffolk on 30 March when it reached 20.9°C
  • Santon Downham also recorded the lowest temperature of the month with -3.6°C on 2 March

Read more: The latest weather forecast for the Anglia region

Suffolk was the driest place in the UK during March 2014 with the village of Charsfield, nine miles to the north east of Ipswich being the driest place in the country. Charsfield had just 13.2 mm or just half an inch of rain during the month, less than a third of the normal amount.

The next two driest locations in the country were Cavendish in Suffolk with 14.6 mm (34% of average) and Santon Downham on the edge of Thetford Forest with 15.6 mm (31% of average).

The wettest place in the Anglia region was Moulton Park in Northampton with 38.2 mm of rainfall. That was 87% of the normal rainfall for March at that site.

In contrast, the wettest place in the UK was Loch Cluanie in Scotland where 360 mm (14.2 inches) of rain fell during March 2014.