Updated 16th February
Covering the period 2nd March - 24th March
Generally dry and sunny except in the west
Temperatures will be 1 to 1.5C above the 1981-2010 average in southern England, but nearer 0.5C above in Scotland, with intervening areas of the UK 0.5 to 1C above average. The positive anomaly is likely to be larger by day than by night over most of England and Wales and eastern Scotland.
Most parts of the country will be drier than average, particularly eastern England and south-eastern Scotland, but near-average rainfall is more likely in Northern Ireland, Wales and western Scotland.
Sunshine totals will be near or slightly below average in Northern Ireland, most of Wales, western Scotland and locally near south-facing coasts, but elsewhere the period will be sunnier than average, with south-eastern Scotland and north-eastern England likely to report the largest excesses relative to the long-term normal.
Monday 2nd March - Sunday 8th March
This period will begin unsettled with showery north-westerlies, which will be quite cold in the north, interspersed with occasional longer spells of rain from frontal systems, but high pressure is expected to build from the south, which will result in the weather turning somewhat drier in the south of the country.
A mix of sunny intervals and showers is likely for most of the country on the 2nd and 3rd, with temperatures a little down on the seasonal average, and showers are expected to fall as hail, sleet and snow quite widely, especially in western and northern Britain, but with significant accumulations of snow restricted to high ground. Between the 4th and 6th, a northwest-southeast split is expected in the weather and temperatures will generally rise above the seasonal average. Most of Scotland, Ireland, north-west England and north Wales will be generally cloudy with rain at times which will be heavy in the west of Scotland. Central, southern and eastern England will be influenced more by the high pressure, and although there will be a fair amount of cloud around, sheltered eastern parts of England are likely to see frequent sunny periods. It will also be dry, though cloudy, in eastern Scotland. On the 7th and 8th the high pressure is expected to extend further north which will bring dry sunny conditions to most parts of the country.
Temperatures will generally range from very close to the 1981-2010 average for most of Scotland and Northern Ireland, to 1 to 1.5C above in southern parts of England. Rainfall totals are expected to show a marked northwest-southeast split, with western Scotland significantly wetter than average, but most of eastern Scotland and the majority of England and Wales (except the north and west of Wales) are expected to be drier than average.
Sunshine totals will be above average in the east of Scotland and England and near average in most other parts of the UK, but there will be a shortage of sunshine in western Scotland.
Monday 9th March - Sunday 15th March
Lowest pressure will lie to the west of the British Isles, and early in the period high pressure is expected to be dominant over central and western Europe, with southerly winds over the British Isles, pulling up warm and dry air from southern parts of continental Europe. As a result, most of the UK will be dry and sunny with temperatures rather above average by day, and close to average by night. There will be localised exceptions to the above-average sunshine, because low cloud will form at night in many parts of the country, which will be slow to clear locally due to the limited strength of the sun at this time of the year, but for most of the country it will be significantly sunnier than average. The weather is likely to turn more unsettled towards midmonth as the trough in the Atlantic moves further east bringing some fronts eastwards, mostly into western parts of the UK, but even so, rainfall amounts in the eastern half of the country will be small.
As a result, most of the UK will be significantly drier and sunnier than average and some parts of the country, especially eastern England and south-eastern Scotland, may see no measurable rain at all during the period. Sunshine totals may only be close to average near some south-facing coasts and in western Scotland and Northern Ireland, however.
Temperatures are expected to be 1 to 2C above the 1981-2010 average in most parts of the UK, with temperatures generally 2 to 3C above average by day but close to average by night.
Rest of the month
Monday 16th March - Tuesday 24th March
High pressure will probably be more dominant than usual during this period, with the prevailing wind direction switching from a southerly to a westerly, so temperatures are likely to return closer to the seasonal norm, though still probably a degree above average in most regions. It will generally be drier and sunnier than average over England and Wales, but over Scotland and Northern Ireland, sunshine and rainfall totals are likely to be near-normal and one or two north-westerly incursions may bring hail and sleet showers to low ground with snow on high ground. Sunshine may also be near or slightly below normal near coasts bordering the Irish Sea.