Meteorological situation for March 2019
The meteorological situation in March 2019 was characterized by an intense activity of low-pressure systems in the beginning and high-pressure systems in the second half of the month. Precipitation totals were above in the northern parts and mostly below the long term means in the southern parts of the EFAS domain. The monthly mean air temperature was in most parts of the EFAS domain above the long-term mean.
In the first half of March, low-pressure systems moved over most parts of the EFAS domain and brought most of the monthly precipitation total, whereas the Iberian Peninsula and northern Africa were more frequently influenced by high-pressure systems. Continuous rainfall in Great Britain caused floods in Wales and England.
By the middle of March, high-pressure systems started to influence the weather conditions in most parts of the EFAS domain. A high-pressure system enlarged from the Atlantic Ocean to central Europe leading to a cut-off upper level low-pressure system trapped over northern Africa. This system brought intense rain, and snow in the mountains, of Algeria and Tunisia. Another cut-off occurred over the western Alps causing a low-pressure system moving from the central to the eastern Mediterranean region by the end of March. These high-pressure systems over central and southern Europe forced low-pressure systems to pass over northern Scandinavia and northern Russia.
Monthly precipitation amounts were up to 613 mm in March 2019. The highest precipitation totals were observed at Great Britain and Ireland, the western coast of Scandinavia and at the border between Turkey and Iraq (Figure 1). Nearly no precipitation was observed in southeast Spain, the Mediterranean coast of France and the bordering region of Italy as well as in North Macedonia. The northern part of Europe received more and the southern part less than usual precipitation amounts relative to long term means (Figure 2). Precipitation totals in Iceland were below the long term means and at the southern and eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea above the long term means.
The monthly mean air temperatures ranged from -16°C to 32°C with the highest temperatures in the southern part and lowest temperatures in the northern and mountainous parts of the EFAS domain (Figure 3). Temperature anomalies ranged from -5°C to 9°C, where most regions had above normal temperatures (Figure 4). Abnormally cold temperatures were found in Iceland, parts of Scandinavia, some regions in Portugal and Spain as well as from northern Africa to the Caucasus Mountains.