March set to be coldest since 1962
Published 28/03/2013 | 12:11
This March is set to be the coldest in the UK since 1962, weather experts have said.
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 weather seems set to continue cold, though dry, over the Easter weekend.
John Lee, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said there were widespread sub-zero temperatures across the UK last night, with the lowest reading at Braemar, Aberdeenshire, -8C (18F).
He said: "There were similar low temperatures across Scotland, while at Shap in Cumbria there was a reading of minus 6C (21F). Even in the South West, Somerset and Devon, there were readings of minus 5 (23F), there were no regions above freezing except for a few coastal spots."
It would be another very cold night, and, with slightly clearer skies than Wednesday night, temperatures could drop even further in some places.
He added: "It will be continuing cold throughout the whole of Easter, but with some sunshine, and it looks mostly dry across most areas."