Why was March 2013 so cold?

It is really wonderful to feel  the warmth of the sun again even if it is now very windy. Magnolias, daffodils, tulips and other beautiful spring delights are sprouting all over the country bringing some much needed colour into our gardens after months of cold and grey days.

UK gardeners are used to every type of weather  which is what makes them extremely resilient, adaptable and prepared for any future climatic changes.

If you want to know what has been happening with the weather in recent weeks it might help to check out this interesting piece by the Met office:


If you do not have time to read the whole article then the concluding remarks are particularly interesting in relation to climate change

March 2013 was exceptionally cold in the UK, as well as the North Atlantic and European region more generally, in the context of the last 50 years. Such climate ‘events’ lead to increased interest from the public, media, government and businesses in both the impacts of the weather on our livelihoods and infrastructure, and in the drivers of significant weather.

As is ever the case, the conditions that led to a cold March are linked to a number of different and often inter-related factors. This can also be said of the cold winter of 2010/11, the UK drought in 2010/12 and extreme summer rainfall in 2012. This makes it difficult to definitively attribute a particular ‘event’ to one simple explanation, which can make communicating the science drivers more complicated and nuanced than some audiences may wish. On the other hand, this simply reflects the richness and complexity of our climate system, which drives the weather that we experience on a daily basis.

Whilst the cold March 2013 weather is certainly unusual, it is not unprecedented or outside the expected natural variability of our climate. There is particularly heightened interest in the role of the Arctic on the UK’s weather, given rapid changes in Arctic sea ice, and on the likely changes we may observe given future decline. It is worth re-emphasising, however, that while changes in the Arctic are consistent with predisposing the climate system to cold weather in northern Europe, this is only one possible driver among several potential factors which could account for the cold March weather. What we have still to understand is the degree to which our changing climate may alter the likelihood and intensity of extreme events. With the rapidly changing Arctic, this is now high on the research agenda. ”  


This post was written by:

- who has written 872 posts on My Climate Change Garden.

I am not an experienced gardener - more of an enthusiastic amateur who learns by trial and error and who is keen to "manage" the effects of shifting weather patterns on my garden. Writing this blog is my passion and it has evolved over 12 years to inspire engagement with climate change outside our back doors, in our personal gardens and green spaces. My mission is to fertilise and expand this platform to grow a community of global gardeners communicating about the effects of climate change on our plants and exploring how each individual can make small changes in our lives to become more sustainable. The future of our gardens and #OurPlanet is in our hands - please plant your own seeds for our collective sustainable future.

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