March 2013 set to be coldest in decades
- Credit: Archant
THE first signs of spring were stopped in their tracks last weekend, as more snow fell across Comet country.
It looks like March could be the coldest in decades, with the minimum temperature averaging just 0.6 degrees Celcius.
North Herts met observer Richard Barker said: “It could finish off being the coldest March on my records which go back 40 years to 1972.
“March 1987 was the coldest one I can remember in a long time. It is not yet clear whether that month was colder but if this weather stays the same it certainly could be.”
Daily temperatures are just over three degrees below average. There have been 60 hours of sunshine so far this month, but Richard says it should be about 100 hours.
“It is this factor that has had an affect on the temperature,” he said.
During the past 15 years, 12 out of the 15 months of March have had above average temperatures, with last year being particularly warm. April and May have also been warmer months.
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“It was very warm last March and we have got used to these warmer springs,” Richard added.
“Normally you would see signs of spring; the daffodils would be out by now. I noticed those in Martins Way, Stevenage, have started to come up but last year they were in bloom.
“I would think compared with recent springs we will be a month behind this year. The soil is cold at the moment so gardeners should wait – it isn’t a good idea to put seeds in yet.”
Tim Hunter, owner of Hitchin Lavender, agreed the weather was putting everything back.
“It won’t affect the lavender as our lavenders are hardy plants and late flowering, but I think it will affect flowers like daffodils and tulips,” he said.
“The small plants that were planted last year are not really growing but this has slowed us down rather than played havoc.”
Bookies have slashed the odds of a white Easter to 3/1. It last happened in North Herts in 2008.