Saturday, 6 April 2013

March Weather Report

We may, just may have had a few drops of real rain this morning.  Certainly there were clouds around first thing which might have been responsible - this view looks across Kilchoan Bay to the houses along Pier Road, all still grey from a sharp overnight frost. If it did rain - and the only evidence was some dampness on the rocks in the bay below the house, and droplets on the still-bare branches of the trees - it will have been the first rain since 17th March.

March's only significant rainfall came between the 14th and 16th, when we enjoyed 21mm out of the month's total of 32mm.  Instead we've had clear skies and ground frosts most nights - in fact, the temperature below zero on a total of fifteen nights, the lowest recorded where we are in Ormsaigbeg being -3C.  Little wonder that, higher in the hills, the smaller lochans and pools of water on the summits have remained frozen, and the snow stayed on the higher mountains across the water on Mull, Morvern and Skye.

We had snow down at sea level on only one day, the 22nd, when it blew a bitter force 7 from the east; and east was the month's dominant wind direction.

The month will be remembered for the fires that have burned across the dry moorlands.  Locally, we've been lucky, this one at Achnaha burning itself out before it reached Sanna.

March saw the first spring flowers in bloom, a hesitant scattering at first, then more and more...

....and the first lambs, some of which had a bad time in the night-time frosts, but benefited from the dry daytimes.

Most of all, we'll remember March 2013 for the great walking conditions.  We walked miles across Ardnamurchan's beautiful hills, and our photo library bulges with the pictures taken in the clear daytime air - this picture shows the bay at Fascadale, with Rum in the distance.

April has started as dry as March ended, but the crofters need some warmth and rain to bring on the grass for their animals.  But we're heading towards May, which is often one of the drier months.

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