Sunday could be hottest day of the year so far


Britain could bask in the hottest day of the year on Sunday as temperatures soar to up to 19C (66.2F).

Forecasters predicted that parts of the UK could be hotter than Barcelona and Ibiza on Sunday, as warm air and sunshine sweep north from the continent.

It marks a welcome turnaround from the turbulent weather Storm Katie brought over Easter weekend.

Temperatures peaked at 15.8C (60.4F) in Holbeach, Lincolnshire, on Saturday, and are expected to rise to between 18C (64.4F) or 19C (66.2F) in the South East on Sunday.

But those hoping to dust off the barbecues could end up with soggy sausages, as forecasters predicted showers, particularly in northern and eastern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Sophie Yeomans, from the Met Office, said average temperatures for early April were normally around 11C (51.8F) or 12C (53.6F), while this year's highest recorded temperature was 18.7C (65.6F) in Braemar, Aberdeenshire, in March.

"If we reach 19C that would make it the hottest day of the year," she said.

"But it's a bit of a mixed bag - in Scotland and Northern Ireland and further north, there is some rain around for most of the day. In Scotland and in the North, it will be fairly chilly and highs will only reach 11C.

"Further south, in England and Wales, it's mainly going to be sunny spells and patchy cloud. Western areas might just see some showers in the evening that will be quite heavy.

"The best of the weather is going to be in the South East."

The warmer climate is due to tropical continental air being brought into the UK through a change in wind direction.

But it will not last, with the Met Office warning that early next week will become "fairly unsettled" with heavy showers. Temperatures could still reach 17C (62.6F) in places.

Bookmakers were predicting the hottest day of the year this weekend, but seem sceptical that this April will be the hottest on record, only offering odds of 100/1.