Mild March a record breaker

The fine March weather may have broken temperature records and consigned the thermal underwear and gloves to the cupboard for many - but a chilly Easter is on its way, warned the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) on Sunday.

“Cold air over the Artic is expected to blow down over Europe. It looks like we’re going to return to normal temperatures from now on,” said Sverker Hellström, meteorologist at SMHI, who has been analysing the March statistics.

In Götaland and Svealand last month was as warm as or warmer than 1990 and 1938. In northern Norrland such mild March temperatures have not been seen since 1920.

Towards the end of the month record high temperatures were noted at a number of individual weather stations. In Gothenburg it reached 18.9 degrees centigrade on March 26th and in Jokkmokk the mercury hit 12 degrees centigrade on March 25th, breaking the previous record by 2 degrees.

In Gävle, Norrland’s highest March temperature ever, 18.3 degrees centigrade, was recorded, while Lund in Skåne experienced its warmest March, with an average temperature of 6.3 degrees centigrade.

Overall it has been 4-6 degrees warmer than usual and considerably milder than last year’s chilly March.

On reason is thought to have been a region of high pressure over the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea which unusually headed north.

“At the beginning of the month we saw warm air coming up from the south and west. Towards the end the winds blew in warm air from the south east,” said Hellström.

Most notable among the month’s weather patterns was the stark difference between day and night temperatures in many places. In Härjedalen the temperature shifted from minus 14 to plus 14 in one day.

“That’s really unusual for March. It’s because of the dry, clear air,” said Sverker Hellström.