Britons are set to flock to parks this weekend to enjoy further pleasant weather with sunshine and temperatures of up to 55F (13C) across both days after yesterday brought the warmest day of the year so far.
England and Wales are enjoying temperatures on a par with Malaga and Barcelona this week with Santon Downham in Suffolk recording 65.1F (18.4C) yesterday which was even above the average maximum for May.
The warm, southerly airflow which has brought the very mild weather since the start of last week is also responsible for dramatic, vivid red sunrises particularly in the East after blowing Saharan dust north from Africa.
But washout conditions are continuing in other parts of the UK including North Wales and the North West, with more than a month’s rain falling over 30 hours to yesterday lunchtime in the Lake District.
And the flooding risk remains for nearly 100 areas of Britain today, with 58 alerts and two warnings in place for England; seven alerts and 14 alerts issued for Scotland; and ten alerts and one warning imposed for Wales.
People watch the beautiful sunrise from Roker Beach in Sunderland this morning as mild weather conditions continue
Two people walk on Roker beach in Sunderland at sunrise this morning with the pier visible in the background
At Honister Pass in Cumbria, there was 140.2mm (5.5in) of rain between 6am on Tuesday and noon yesterday – compared with the county’s average February rainfall of 112.1mm (4.4in). The mountain pass near Keswick also holds the record for the most rain in a day – 204.6mm (8.05in), which was recorded on February 3, 1997.
Rain is due to linger today around the south coast and South East but dry and brighter conditions are expected further north, which are due to spread across the whole of England and Wales, and last through the weekend.
But Met Office meteorologist Sarah Kent said of the Saharan dust which first arrived last week: ‘This has edged away due to changing wind directions and, with rainfall coming through, the (remaining) dust will be rained out.’
The mild weather has seen colourful displays of snowdrops, crocuses and early daffodils. Guy Barter, of the Royal Horticultural Society, said people should enjoy the blooms while they can.
There are 58 flood alerts and two warnings in place for England (left), and seven alerts and 14 alerts issued for Scotland (right)
He said: ‘Now it’s turned so mild, the blooms are going to be over very fast. If people want to see the crocuses and early daffodils, they need to get out over the next 10 days or so. With snowdrops, they are now on the cusp (of being over for the year) so you haven’t much time; you need to go and see them now.’
Mr Barter said the spring flowers have appeared at around the normal time, having been slowed by cold weather earlier this month. But he added that it would be better for fruit trees if colder weather returns during March, to delay fruit flowers so they come out later in the spring when there is less likelihood of frosts.
He said: ‘We don’t want the warm weather to continue for too long – we need colder weather to return. Otherwise late frosts risk harming the blossom, leading to less fruit.’
The all-time monthly record temperature of 70.2F (21.2C) was set in London on February 26, 2019. The average UK daily high for February is 43.9F (6.6C), while the same figure for May is 58.6F (14.8C).