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Spring 2015

The following represents an assessment of the weather experienced across the UK during Spring 2015 (March, April and May) and how it compares with the 1981 to 2010 average.

Spring 2015 was fairly unexceptional overall. March brought a mixture of typical early spring weather. High pressure in April brought some notably dry, sunny and warm days whereas during May an unsettled north-westerly weather type led to cool conditions with well above average rainfall. March was very wintry across Scotland's mountains with blizzards at times, while April concluded with an incursion of colder air from the north giving further late-season snowfalls to the Scottish mountains.

The UK mean temperature for this spring was close to average. A near-average March (anomaly +0.1 °C) was followed by a rather warm April (+0.5 °C) and a cooler than average May (-0.8 °C). Maximum temperatures were well above normal in April but rather suppressed during May.

The rainfall patterns for each of the three months saw more rainfall in the north-west than the south-east relative to average, with spring totals of more than 130% across western Scotland compared to less than 70% across southern England. Seasonal totals of around 90 mm in the far south contrasted with 900 mm in the West Highlands, and for Scotland it was the second wettest spring in a series from 1910. The UK received exactly 100% of average rainfall in March, 63% in April and 158% in May.

Sunshine amounts were rather above average in March (120%), well above average in April (144%) and slightly below in May (94%). April 2015 was the sunniest April for the UK in a series from 1929. In general central and eastern areas fared best, and for Eastern Scotland it was the sunniest spring in the series.

The animation below shows the weather of spring 2015 from the Met Office Unified Model. The top panel shows 250 hPa wind (corresponding to an altitude of approximately 10km coincident with the Jet Stream), and 850 hPa actual temperature. The bottom panel shows 850 hPa wind and precipitation. The animation runs from 1 March 2015 to 31 May 2015 with a 3 hour time-step. Courtesy David Fereday, Met Office Hadley Centre.
UK statistical summary
UK statistical summary
Mean temperatureRainfallSunshine
The mean value is 7.7 °C, which is 0.1 °C below the 1981-2010 average.The total is 252 mm, which is 106% of the 1981-2010 average.The total is 509 hours, which is 117% of the 1981-2010 average.

Provisional graph of UK daily mean temperature for Spring 2015 (March, April and May)

Mean temperature anomaly (difference from average) map for Spring 2015 (March, April and May)

Rainfall percent of average map for Spring 2015 (March, April and May)

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