UK

UK Weather: March Is Coldest Since 1963, Forecasters Confirm (PICTURES)

28/03/2013 15:35 GMT

This March is set to be the coldest in the UK since 1962, weather experts have finally confirmed.

Statistics from the Met Office showed that from March 1 to 26 the UK mean temperature was 2.5C (36.5F), which is three degrees below the long-term average.

This made it the joint fourth coldest in the UK, in records going back to 1910.

snow

Piles of snow line a road near Colne in northern England

The Met Office said this March was likely to be the fourth coldest on record for England, joint third coldest for Wales, joint eighth coldest for Scotland and sixth coldest for Northern Ireland.

This March joined 2006, 2001, 1995, 1987, 1979, 1970 and 1962 as years when the month saw some significant snowfall.

The coldest March in the UK was in 1962, at 1.9C (35.4F), followed by 1947, 2.2C (35.9F), 1937, 2.4C (36.3F), and 1916 and 1917, 2.5C (36.5F).

The cold weather is expected to continue through the Easter weekend and into April, a spokesman said.

Full figures for the month will be available later next week.

The weather seems set to continue cold, though dry, over the Easter weekend.

John Lee, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said there were widespread sub-zero temperatures across the UK last night, with the lowest reading at Braemar, Aberdeenshire, -8C (18F).

He said: "There were similar low temperatures across Scotland, while at Shap in Cumbria there was a reading of -6C (21F).

"Even in the South West, Somerset and Devon, there were readings of -5 (23F), there were no regions above freezing except for a few coastal spots."

It would be another very cold night tonight, and, with slightly clearer skies than last night, temperatures could drop even further in some places.

He added: "It will be continuing cold throughout the whole of Easter, but with some sunshine, and it looks mostly dry across most areas."

There were no immediate signs of a respite from the cold conditions.

snow drifts

Diane and Jack Dalby clear snow from the driveway of her 78 year old father Douglas Cottam so he can attend a medical appointment near Colne

Around 1,200 homes in the west of Scotland remained without power for a sixth day, following a problem with mobile generators.

Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) said it still hoped to reconnect all affected customers in Arran and Kintyre by tonight despite "technical problems" leaving many in darkness for another night last night.

Snow damaged large sections of the network, toppling two transmission pylons and cutting the power to around 18,000 properties last Friday.

Roads blocked by up to 15ft (4.5m) snow drifts slowed the recovery of the network and transportable generators have been deployed to the affected areas throughout the week.

Locals in Campbeltown in the Kintyre peninsula said that in many cases community spirit had got people through the worst of the weather and blackout.

Community centres and vans provided by SSE have been providing hot food, drinks and shower facilities to many people cut off and the local Co-op store remained open when its tills lost power by accepting "IOUs" rather than cash.

Tourist industry leaders are eager for full power to be restored by the weekend with thousands of people expected to visit Arran over the Easter break.

The weather-related problems continue to be concerning for farmers, many of whom have lost animals under the heavy snow or are running low on food and supplies.