Is Denmark having its sunniest March ever?

March is not a month famous for sunshine and mild temperatures in Denmark, but the current month has broken with that reputation and could set new records.

Sun in Copenhagen in March 2021
Sun in Copenhagen in March 2021. This year could see a record for sunshine hours in March. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

Sunshine and blue sky have dominated weather reports so far throughout March 2022 and, although the end of the month could bring some cloud, the current month is on course to set a record as the sunniest March in Denmark.

As of Thursday morning, 170 hours of sunshine had been registered in March, leaving it 30 hours short of the existing record of 200 hours, a record that has stood for almost 80 years according to broadcaster DR.

The remaining hours of sunshine look achievable if the forecast for the coming days is anything to go by, according to the broadcaster’s meteorologist Søren Jacobsen.

“With the daylight hours we are having now, we get around 10 hours of sun per day when there are no clouds,” he told DR prior to Thursday, which also saw day-long sunshine.

March normally gets 138.4 hours of sunshine, according to DR. The figure is based on the average for the past 10 years.

The Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) measures and records Denmark’s sunshine hours. The sunlight must be of a certain strength for it to count towards the total, but in general, a clear sky across the entire horizon and no clouds are required.

The most sun-drenched March on record in Denmark occurred in 1943, when 200 hours were registered. Second place is 2013 with 189.7 hours.

In 2020, Denmark got 182 hours of sun, placing that year 6th on the current list. The country was locked down due to Covid-19 from March 11th through the end of the month.

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Storm Nora loses pace but severe weather still likely for southern Denmark

Storm Nora, expected to reach Denmark on Friday evening, has lost some strength and taken a more southern path than expected as it heads towards the country.

Storm Nora loses pace but severe weather still likely for southern Denmark

Some weather warnings still apply despite the milder development of the storm, meteorological office DMI said.

“We have a warning out for a storm on Friday evening for the southernmost part of the country,” DMI meteorologist Lars Henriksen said early on Friday.

“We expect it to be primarily the most southern parts of Jutland, Funen, Langeland and Lolland-Falster as well as Bornholm that will be affected,” he said.

The Great Belt Bridge could be closed from 10pm to midnight on Friday and from 5am to 7am on Saturday due to the weather, operator Sund & Bælt said.

Some rail services will be suspended from 9pm until Saturday morning. This was confirmed by Banedanmark, the company which operates Denmark’s rail tracks and stations. 

Services in central and north Jutland, and the S-train overground system in Copenhagen, should operate normally, Banedanmark said.

The DMI severe weather warning is effective from 9pm on Friday until 3am on Saturday, with Bornholm receiving the storm slightly later from 11pm Friday until 10am Saturday.

DMI warns of winds reaching storm strength at between 25 and 28 metres per second during those intervals.

“There may also be a risk of hurricane strength gusts locally, but that will not be very widespread,” Henriksen said.

Hurricane winds are considered strong enough to damage tiled roofs, snap large branches and caused trees to fall.

High water levels have also been warned of by DMI as a result of the storm, specifically on the west coast of Jutland.

Although the windy will be less severe after the storm passes, Henriksen said the blustery weather would persist throughout the weekend.

Periods of rain, hail, snow and even sun could variously occur on Saturday and Sunday. Temperatures will be around 3-8 degrees Celsius.