Snow and strong winds caused travel disruption at the end of March
The very cold winter and a cold first half of March resulted in a late start to the growth of plants and trees, with spring flowering in most areas beginning several weeks later than in recent years.
There were no significant weather events until the last two days of the month when snow, gales and heavy rain disrupted transport and power supplies across Scotland and Northern Ireland.
On 30th, heavy rain quickly turned to snow inland and at higher elevations, with drifting snow in gale force winds.
England and Wales also experienced gales over exposed coasts and hills, with some snow across upland areas.
Electricity supplies across Scotland and Northern Ireland were particularly badly affected, with snow and ice sticking to power lines that were then brought down by strong winds.
On 31st, around 48,000 homes in Northern Ireland and 15,000 in Scotland were reported to be without power.
Several trunk roads across Highland, Perthshire and Aberdeenshire including the A96, A90, M90 and A9 were affected by snow, ice and strong winds that caused delays and accidents.
Road conditions were also difficult across higher parts of southern Scotland and northern England, with a fatality when a school coach crashed on the A73 in south Lanarkshire.
In Northern Ireland, around 300 people were rescued from snow-bound vehicles near Londonderry. Rail services faced disruption, with the East Coast Main Line closed between Edinburgh and Berwick-upon-Tweed after flooding and landslips.
Restrictions were in force for drivers using the Skye, Erskine and Tay bridges and ferry sailings between Scotland and Northern Ireland were cancelled.
Overnight on 31st, more than 100 passengers had to be rescued from a train stranded for seven hours in a snowdrift between Aviemore and Inverness.
March was a month of two halves. The first two weeks were generally dry and fine, although it was cold with some night frosts.
The second half saw more changeable weather with rain at times, culminating in strong winds and snowfall in the north.
From mid-month temperatures rose so that, overall, mean temperatures were close to the 1971-2000 average.
Rainfall totals reached normal across much of Northern Ireland, southern Scotland and northern England and were well above normal in a few places. Elsewhere rainfall was somewhat below average, and well below normal in parts of western Scotland.
It was generally a sunny month, particularly across Wales, Northern Ireland and central England, with 130% to 150% of normal being recorded.
A maximum temperature of 18.0C was recorded on 18th at Weybourne (Norfolk).
A minimum temperature of -18.6C was recorded on 4th at Braemar (Aberdeenshire).
In the 24 hours ending at 0900 on 30th, 57.2 mm of rainfall was measured at Ballypatrick Forest (County Antrim).
At 2300 on 31st, 45cm of lying snow was reported from Aviemore (Highland).
Wind gusts of 75mph were recorded on 31st at Orlock Head (County Down) and Needles, Old Battery (Isle of Wight).