March 2018 Weather Round-Up

The day-to-day weather has very little impact on the volume of visits to Jersey, but can play a major role in influencing the types of activities that visitors who are here do, and thereby, the amount of money that they spend. Some attractions and activity providers thrive only when the sun shines, others see higher patronage on rainy days.

winter weather

The average temperature in March was 7.5oC, the second consecutive month of temperatures being 3 degrees lower than the year before and 1.0oC below the thirty-year average. Rainfall totalled 119mm for the month, half as much again as fell in March of 2017 and approaching twice that which one could reasonably expect for the time of year.

Looking at the number of hours of sunshine we find that the total of 131.5 hours, which despite the lengthening days is 18 hours less than was recorded in February and 16 hours below that achieved in March of last year. In comparison to the seasonal norm March 2018 had 8 fewer hours of sunshine than is typical. In summary, the March weather was colder, wetter and duller than should be expected for the time of year.

Averages can be misleading – you can have many values that are a bit below normal being offset by a single value that is significantly above normal. In meteorological terms for example you could have a month during which 28 days see not a drop of rain, but three days of torrential downpours. Statistically this might lead to an ‘average’ amount of rainfall for the month, but most visitors would not have experienced ‘average’ weather.

Looking at February there were just four days when no sunshine was recorded with a further two days when the sun shone for an hour or less.

The lowest minimum temperature was around -3oC on the first day of the month, in the midst of a particularly cold spell. March 10 earned the award for warmest day of the month, but this was not especially balmy at 15oC.

There were just six days on which no recorded rain fell and three days with only trace amounts of around 1mm. The wettest day of the month was St. David’s Day with 22mm although much of this fell in the form of sleet and snow.

The downloadable table below shows the monthly profile of temperatures, rainfall and sunshine over the past three years, the annual change, and finally the variance to the thirty-year average. When looking at the monthly figures warmer temperatures, drier weather and higher sunshine hours are shaded green, and when looking at comparisons a warmer, drier and sunnier relative outcome is shaded green.

March Data Table