25 Mar 2015

March weather: in like a lion, out like a lion

There’s no doubt that the settled weather of the past fortnight, combined with the sun being higher in the sky, have offered enough warmth to inject a sense of spring into the air.

Even more exciting is the fact that the clocks go forward an hour this weekend, marking the start of British Summer Time, bringing an extra hour of daylight during the evenings.

However, the weather has never been one to conform to our ideals and often throws in a curve ball, just when we were thinking that we’d left the grimness of winter behind.


You may have heard the phrase: “In like a lion, out like a lamb,” to describe the weather in March. It comes from the idea that the weather at start of the month resembles winter, gradually settling down to something more like spring later.

This year, it looks as though March will end much as it started, with the weather taking on a wet and windy theme.

Jet stream changing speed and position

During the past fortnight, the jet stream has spent much of the time being relatively weak and sitting to the north of the UK.

jetstream_29thMarch_WZ_wpThis has steered low pressure, wind and rain towards Iceland and Scandinavia, leaving us generally under the influence of high pressure, bright skies and bursts of spring sunshine.

However, in the coming days, the jet stream is not only going to move southwards across us, but also pick up speed – reaching close to 200mph, 30,000ft above the Atlantic Ocean this weekend.

As a result, areas of low pressure will be spawned over the mid-Atlantic before being pushed towards us.

Wind and rain

The first spell of wind and rain arrives during Wednesday night, giving a temporary spell of snow over the hills and north Wales, low_pressure28thMarch_MO_wpnorthern England and Scotland.

This then sets the theme for the next week, with low pressure bringing brisk winds and spells of rain at least every other day to much of the UK.

Even though there’ll be brief drier and brighter spells following, there’ll definitely be a noticeable change from the relatively settled weather that we’ve been used to of late.

What about Easter weekend?

You may have seen a headline in a tabloid newspaper recently saying that Easter is going to be sunny and warm.

The simple fact is that it is not possible to be so detailed so far ahead – especially in spring when the weather can be so varied.

If anything, the latest trend from the weather computer models is that Easter weekend will be cool and changeable, with rain at times, interspersed with brighter interludes.

In the meantime, you can get the latest forecast on the Channel 4 Weather website. I’ll also be posting regular updates on Twitter – @liamdutton

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