Spring is in the air as temperatures rival Mediterranean

Spring will be in the air this weekend as a blast of warm air from the Americas brings milder weather to the UK and temperatures that could rival parts of the Mediterranean.

Thermometers could reach 15C or 16C (59F or 60.8F) in southern and eastern England by Monday, while highs could peak at 17C (62F) in eastern Scotland, the Met Office said.

Aberdeen, Wattisham in Suffolk and London are all tipped as likely locations for the highest temperatures, with the east of the country broadly enjoying the best of the warmth.

The mild weather, which is pushing temperatures to 4C or 5C above the average maximums for this time of year, is being triggered by an air mass making its way over the Atlantic Ocean from Florida and parts of the Caribbean.

The rise could make parts of the UK among the hottest locations in Europe, following bouts of snow and freezing temperatures that took hold on the continent earlier this month.

Met Office forecaster Marco Petagna said: "The average maximums in the north are 6C or 7C (42.8F or 44.6F) for this time of year, but we are looking at 15C or 16C (59F or 60.8F) in a few spots.

"But it will still be a bit short of the all-time record for February, which is 19.7C (67.5F) recorded on February 13 1998 in Greenwich, south-east London."

MeteoGroup forecaster Tom Whittaker said temperatures of 15C could be higher than places like Palma in Majorca, and parts of southern France.

On Saturday there will be a North-South weather split, with Scotland, Northern Ireland and north-east England quite cloudy and fairly windy, with some outbreaks of rain.

But the bulk of England and Wales will see a grey start with low cloud and fog patches give way to sunshine.

Most areas will reach 10C to 12C (50F to 53.6F), with a few areas reaching a degree or two higher.

Sunday will be cloudy, with rain in the north and west, with the south and east more likely to see sunnier spells and temperatures similar to Saturday.