March temperatures were below average across most of country

Month started and ended cold but was also drier than usual, weather statistics show

March was a cold month, with below average temperatures recorded across the country.

Temperatures were below average or just average everywhere for the month. The greatest deviation for the month was at Markree Castle in Co Sligo where the temperature was 1.1 degrees below average to the Phoenix Park in Dublin where the mean temperature was 6.6 degrees, the only weather station where the temperature was not below normal.

Mean temperatures for the month ranged from 5.1 degrees at Knock Airport, Co Mayo, to 7.8 degrees at Sherkin Island, Co Cork, both well below the monthly average.

The month's highest temperature was reported at Casement Aerodrome, Co Dublin, on the 25th with a temperature of 16.5 degrees.


The month's lowest air minimum was recorded on the 5th at Dunsany, Co Meath, with -4.2 degrees while the lowest grass minimum was -10.1 degrees reported at Mount Dillon, Co Roscommon, on the 20th.

The old saying that March comes like a lion was true with the first day of the month bringing Storm Jorge across the country.

It did not, however, go out like a lamb and a combination of strong winds and a cooler Arctic air mass saw below average temperatures across the country at the end of the month.

In between, a succession of low pressure systems kept temperatures cool but there was no repeat of the extremely wet conditions in February.

The majority of weather stations with a few in the west and south of the country recorded substantially lower amounts of rain than might be expected.

In terms of atmospheric pressure, a low of 978.1 hPa was recorded on March 1st at Malin Head in Co Donegal. The same weather station recorded a monthly record high of 1,051.9 hPa on March 29th which had little impact on the weather, but would give some people locally a headache.

The forecast for the beginning of April is for mild, showery conditions to continue with temperatures around normal for the time of year of between 9 and 14 degrees.

Friday will be cloudy and calm though it will feel cool.

Heavy rain is expected over the weekend in the west and south of the country with the chance of spot flooding in western and southern counties. It will be milder with highs of 15 degrees. It will give way to sunshine and scattered blustery showers next week.

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times