The following represents a provisional assessment of the weather experienced across the UK during Spring 2012 (March, April and May) and how it compares with the 1971 to 2000 averages.
The UK mean temperature for Spring was 8.2 °C, which is 0.8 °C above the 1971-2000 average. Mean temperatures were 2.5 °C above average during March, 0.6 °C below during April and 0.5 °C above during May. It was the third warmest March in the UK temperature series from 1910 and the warmest since 1957. April was the coldest since 1989. Unusually, April was colder than March, this last occurred in 1998. The cool theme continued until the last 10 days of May, which were notably warm, especially across Highland Scotland.
Whilst the overall UK rainfall was very close to average, there was a pronounced gradient between the drier north-west and the wetter east and south. Provisionally, Northern Ireland had its driest Spring since 1984. The wet Spring in the south and east brought welcome respite from the longer-term drought situation. Rainfall over the UK was well below average during March (38%), making it provisionally the driest March since 1953 and the fifth driest since 1910. In marked contrast, April was the wettest on record, with 182% of normal. It was particularly wet across eastern and southern England, east and south Wales and eastern Scotland. In May the rainfall pattern was variable, but totals in many areas were near average.
It was a sunny Spring overall - largely due to March and late May - with sunshine totals typically 10 to 20% above normal. During March, amounts were well above average (161%) and it was provisionally the sunniest March in England in a series since 1929. In April, amounts were generally somewhat below normal (90%) and in May somewhat above (112%).
|The provisional mean value is 8.2 °C, which is 0.8 °C above the 1971-2000 average.||The provisional total is 230 mm, which is 99% of the 1971-2000 average.||The provisional total is 491 hours, which is 116% of the 1971-2000 average.|