Weather Report with Phil Thomas

March adds to the drought

Posted on March 24 2012 at 3:34:17 0 comments

Sunset over canal

Alvechurch amateur weatherman Phil Thomas records the changes.

We started the year having only had 72% of the normal rainfall during 2011, and 2012 has continued in much the same way.

January brought 72% of the expected amount of rain, February 46%, and March is looking very dry at 41% so far – hosepipe bans don’t appear to be far away.

March has been a mixed month with some colder spells so far, but becoming quite spring-like. There have been quite a surprising number of over ground frosts where the ground temperatures drops below freezing (14 of the 23 days so far).

March 2012 (to 23rd)
Mean Max 11.6C 1.6C above average
Mean Min   3.3C   0.9C above average
Mean       7.5C   1.3C above average
Rain 18.3mm 41% of monthly average
Sun 96.1hrs 101% of monthly average

February was a month of extremes from a temperature point of view. The fist 11 days being way below the local average with the coldest overnight screen minimum of -9.4C recorded on the 4th, beating the previous coldest -8.3C in 1991.

Maximum temperatures were back up into double figures from the 15th onwards with the second-highest screen maximum of 17.0C recorded on the 23rd, just short of the highest in 1990 (17.2C)

February 2012
Mean Max 7.2C 0.1C below average
Mean Min   0.4C 0.5C below average
Mean       3.8C   -0.3C below average
Rainfall   24.1mm   46% of average
Sunshine 72.9hrs 120% of average

The outlook remains quite dry towards the end of March but there is the chance of some colder and more changeable weather into April – although the weather patterns are difficult to predict at present.

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You can now see an improved HD weather-cam, updated at one-minute intervals, at

Rainfall chart

If you’re thinking it’s been a bit dry around here, this rainfall chart compiled by Jim Rowan at Kendal End – between Barnt Green and Cofton Hackett – over the past five years shows an interesting trend.

After increasing thanks to a wet autumn in 2008, the annual rainfall fell each year until by 2011 it was less than half the total in 2008.