Chilly air forecast from the east but largely settled around Aylesbury - weather column by Zoe Dukes, forecaster at MetDesk

March is a fickle beast in this country. One moment we have bitter winds and sleet and the next the sun is shining and it almost feels warm enough for a barbecue. But why does the weather chop and change so much at this time of the year?

By David Philip
Tuesday, 15th March 2022, 12:22 pm
There will be a cold breeze, but generally settled weather is predicted for the weekend. (Picture: Adobe Stock)
There will be a cold breeze, but generally settled weather is predicted for the weekend. (Picture: Adobe Stock)

The sun in March is getting increasingly strong and by mid-March it’s at a similar strength to late September.

But why does March often feel colder than in September? The UK is an island completely surrounded by sea, and in September the sea has just had a lot of heating during the summer months, warming it up significantly. The warmer sea acts as a kind of radiator, keeping the country mild, but in March the sea is much colder after the bitter winter months.

Unlike land, the seas and oceans change temperature very slowly. This is because the specific heat capacity of water is a lot higher than the land’s.

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The sea temperature in March is not much higher than February so air masses heading our way are heavily chilled, nicely explaining why it can feel perfectly pleasant in the sun but still freezing cold in the wind or the shade.

Typically this March has been mixed so far with rainfall close to average across the Aylesbury Vale.

There have been a few chilly nights, with a widespread air frost on the 8th, but this past week has often been much milder than average. As we head into the weekend it looks as though high pressure will position itself to bring in some chilly air from the east, though it should be largely settled.