Total sunshine hours for month: 185
Total sunshine hours for year: 315
Rainfall in March: 9mm
Total rainfall: 2012 Jan-March: 90mm
Average for March
(All averages based on 1971 - 2000, except hours of sunshine which are based on 1991 - 2000)
Average maximum temperature: 11.9˚C
Hours of sunshine: 143
Rainfall for the first three months: 178mm
Clearly both 2011 and 2012 are far from the norm – much more sunny, hotter and certainly drier than the average. To date 2012 has had more sunshine and higher March temperatures than 2011 and even less rain! Fortunately December 2011 was wet and well above the average with 135mm but still everything is now becoming very dry and no significant rain forecast until the middle of next week.
A warm early start doesn't necessarily lead to a good vintage: sometimes it is early good and early rotten. 1987 was lovely in April but went downhill rapidly after that. Similarly 2007 was warm and sunny over Easter, then led to a wet summer and was only saved by a fine September and October. Furthermore last year's fine start through to mid June or so was followed by a cool, wet July, a variable August and a wet early September leading to a complicated vintage.
Stats taken from MetéoFrance – Tours station under climat.