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Spring 2016

The following represents an assessment of the weather experienced across the UK during Spring 2016 (March, April, May) and how it compares with the 1981 to 2010 average.

Following on from a wet and notably mild winter, this spring was overall mostly unremarkable, with temperature and rainfall overall very close to the seasonal average, though there were some variations worthy of comment. There were two further named storms, to add to the nine during the late autumn and winter in the first pilot season of the storm-naming initiative, although mid-March brought two weeks of fine settled weather. A rather cool April, with some late snowfalls and frosts in some northern and eastern areas, was offset by a rather warm May. March was wet in the south and east, whereas May was rather dry for most areas. Sunshine was generally above average. During the season there was a mixture of weather types, and no type was dominant.

Spring 2016 temperatures averaged out to be equal to the long-term average for the season. Temperatures were slightly below average over southern areas in March, and rather below average for the whole country in April (although the Aprils of 2012 and 2013 were colder), but May was roughly a degree above average for all parts of the UK. Anomalies for the individual months were -0.2 °C in March, -0.9 °C in April, and +1.0 °C in May.

Rainfall in Spring 2016 was unexceptional overall. However, March was a wet month in southern and eastern parts with over 150% of average in many areas, whereas Scotland had a rather dry month. April was wetter than average in most areas, the exceptions being the far south and south-west of England and south Wales. May was drier than average for the majority of the country, though not for the Inner Hebrides or along a band from south Wales to Suffolk. Overall UK totals were 88% of average in March, 107% in April, and 88% in May.

All three spring months brought above-average sunshine totals to the UK. Despite a slight deficiency in sunshine along many eastern coasts, the UK overall had 115% of average sunshine in March. April was near or above average for most, with 109% overall. May was again sunnier than average for all but some eastern coasts, giving 113% of average for the UK.

UK statistical summary

Mean Temperature Rainfall Sunshine
The mean value for spring is 7.7 °C, which is equal to the 1981-2010 average. The total for spring is 222 mm, which is 93% of the 1981-2010 average. The total for spring is 488 hours, which is 112% of the 1981-2010 average.

Provisional graph of UK daily mean temperature for Spring 2016 (March, April and May)

Mean temperature anomaly (difference from average) map for Spring 2016 (March, April and May)

Rainfall percent of average map for Spring 2016 (March, April and May)

Sunshine percent of average map for Spring 2016 (March, April and May)

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