View from the Rear Window - March 2023

"March 4th", the only day that's also a sentence" - John Green

"In March, Winter is holding back and Spring is pulling forward" - Jean Hersey

"Flowers and colours everywhere, I'm so glad that March is here" - Anamika Mishra

March 2023 in Herefordshire was grey and ordinary except for a sprinkling of snow on the 8th and 9th of the month (Photo 2). In fact, everything weatherwise was in moderation - it seemed to rain on most days, but only gently, with sunshine only an occasional intruder. Consequently, temperatures were restrained with no really hot or cold days and only the occasional overnight frost.

At the beginning of the month, the pale pastel colours of cherry blossom, hellebores and viburnum were dominant interspersed with flashes of colour from the daffodils, croci, pansies and primroses. (Photo 1). By the end of the month, colour vibrancy goes up a notch with the appearance of hyacinths and the first tulips (Photo 3) and the flowering cherries are in their pomp.

Photo 1: Rear Garden Scene on 2nd March 2023

In between, we had some snow (Photo 2) - a fairly uncommon occurence in Hereford these days though we can often still see it on the Welsh hills some 15-20 miles away.

Photo 2: Rear Garden Scene on 9th March 2023

Photo 3: Rear Garden Scene on 31st March 2023

March's daily photos are collated in the timelapse video below (Video 1) put together using Clipchamp on a Chromebook.

Video 1: Timelapse Video of Daily Rear Garden Photos for March 2023

Summary of Weather Parameters for March 2023

Cooling and Heating Degree Days have been added to the list. Sunshine hours are estimated from average daily solar radiation values measured by the Davis weather station. A list of average and total weather parameters is given in Table 1.

Mean daily temperatures were typical for March. Low pressure dominated the month resulting in less sunshine and higher rainfalls.

Table 1: Average/Total Weather Statistics for March 2023

March 2023

Weather Parameter



Average Monthly Temperature 

8 oC

Maximum Monthly Temperature

18 oC


Minimum Monthly Temperature

-3 oC


Number of Air Frost Days


Number of Hot Days (> 25 oC)


Monthly Precipitation

68.2 mm

Greatest 24 h Precipitation

15.2 mm

9th - 10th

Number of Dry Days


Monthly Sunshine Hours (estimated)


Average Wind Speed

4 km/h

Highest Wind Speed

51 km/h


Maximum Barometric Pressure (Sea Level)

1034.3 hPa


Minimum Barometric Pressure (Sea Level)

980.4 hPa


Average Barometric Pressure (Sea Level)

1006.7 hPa

Heating Degree Days


Cooling Degree Days


Daily minimum and maximum temperatures are shown graphically in Figure 1. Cold for the first third of the month with temperatures picking up in the final two-thirds. Overall, temperatures were around the average for March.

Figure 1: Daily Minimum and Maximum Temperatures (March 2023)

Figure 2 presents the daily rainfall and sunshine hours (using solar radiation as a proxy). Relatively few sunny days, plenty of overcast skies and some rain on most days.

Figure 2: Daily Rainfall and Solar Radiation (Sunshine proxy) for March 2023

March temperature stats for the last four years (2020 - 2023) are shown in Figure 3. This year's mean monthly temperature turned out to be 'normal' based on this short time series. The number of frost days in 2023 was slightly higher than normal and we did not see daily maxima above 20 ℃ as we have in the previous two years.

Figure 3: March Temperature Data for the last four years (2020 - 2023)

Figure 4 compares sun, wind and rain values for the last four years. March 2023 had much higher rainfall, less sunshine and fewer dry days than any of the previous 3 years.

Figure 4: March's Rain, Sunshine and Wind Statistics for the last four years (2020 - 2023)

The UK Met Office report for March 2023 found this month to be the wettest in England and Wales since 1981. March 2023 was the third wettest in England and the fifth wettest in Wales since 1836. So definitely on the wet side of wet. Figure 5 shows the relative rainfall for the UK with Herefordshire marked by the red circle - measured precipitation was double the 1991-2020 average.

Figure 5: Herefordshire Rainfall in March 2023 (© UK Met Office)

Relative sunshine duration for the UK is shown in Figure 6 with Herefordshire marked in red. Sunshine hours were 50-70 % of those normally found in Herefordshire for the month of March (1991 - 2020 mean). Based on the last 4 years data from my Davis weather station, the sunshine duration for March 2023 was about 80% of the norm (2020-2022). 

Figure 6: Herefordshire Sunshine Hours in March 2023 (© UK Met Office)

Mean temperatures for the UK (Herefordshire marked in red) are indicated below in Figure 7. Very average for Herefordshire in agreement with the values reported from my weather station (see Figure 3).

Figure 7: Herefordshire Mean Temperature for March 2023 (© UK Met Office)

"March 2023 will be remembered for being a dull and wet month" - Dr Mark McCarthy (UK Met Office)

Jobs in the Garden

A busy time preparing for the growing season which starts in earnest next month
  • Pot washing & sterilizing, greenhouse/polytunnel cleaning
Photo 4: Greenhouse Cleaning
  • Potting on early seedlings in the greenhouse
  • Set up heated propagator in a spare room
  • Plant out recent plant purchases (wallflowers and hellebores)
  • Planted out bare root raspberry canes behind the plum and apple trees
  • Preparation of this season's onion and potato/sweetcorn plot
  • The usual composting tasks
  • Plant onion sets and seed potatoes
Flora and Fauna
  • 6 x Blue Tits
Photo 5: Blue Tit leaving bird feeder
  • 3 x Blackbirds (two male and one female)
Photo 6: Male Blackbird on a favourite evening perch
  • 2 x Collared Doves
  • 1 x Crow
  • 2 x Great tits
Photo 7: Great Tit
  • 3 x House Sparrows (one male and two female)
Photo 8: House Sparrows
  • 6 x Lesser Black-backed Gulls
  • 1 x Magpie
  • 1x Robin
Photo 9: Robin, exit stage right
  • 1 x Starling
  • 5 x Wood Pigeons
  • 1 x Wren
  • 1 x Holly Blue
  • 1 x Dead Rat (remains thereof)
And, finally, a few photos from the garden in March.

Photo 10: Daffodils on St David's Day 2023

Photo 11: Snowdrops and Croci on St Davis's Day 2023

Photo 12: Croci, St David's Day 2023

Photo 13: Table display of Pansies, Primroses and Cherry Trees!

Photo 14: Croci in the snow
Photo 15: Pear Buds about to burst (17th March 2023)

Photo 16: Snake's Head Fritillary (30th March)

Photo 17: Tulips (30th March)

Photo 18: Grape Hyacinth

Photo 19: Hyacinth


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