Wettest March in a decade gives way to warm April as temperatures rise

The wettest March in a decade has given way to a warm early April as forecasters predict double-digit temperatures across the UK ahead of the weekend.

The Met Office said Thursday and Friday would be clear and sunny for most parts of the country, reaching possible highs of 17C in the South East on Friday.

Total average rainfall in March (PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

It follows a wetter than average month in places such as Devon, the Severn Vale and Tyneside in the North East.

Met Office data showed average UK rainfall last month was 104.4mm, the highest for that month since 2008 when it reached 122.5mm.

The latest figure includes the heavy snowstorms, dubbed the Beast from the East, which came in two waves and caused widespread disruption.

Forecaster Graeme Madge said: "After a cold start, any residual cold in the east and South East will quite rapidly move away.

"Most places across the UK will be clear. It will be bright and sunny and not much in the way of wind.

"Today we are looking at highs of, pretty much everywhere in England, getting into double figures, with parts of the South East possibly 13C.

"Somewhere like Manchester will still be in double figures and only really in the north of England will we struggle to see double figures temperatures today."

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He added Edinburgh, in Scotland, could see up to 8C or 9C.

Mr Madge said an area of low pressure threatened to bring some rain to western parts of the UK, including Northern Ireland and Wales, on Friday.

He said: "There's a front associated with that low pressure that's going to be trying to make progress across the UK in western areas.

"As far as England is concerned it's not going to make much progress.

"Tomorrow temperatures, pretty much everywhere apart from really north of Scotland, look like they can get into double figures."

The forecasts offer a stark contrast to last week's chilly conditions (Owen Humphreys/PA)
The forecasts offer a stark contrast to last week's chilly conditions (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Mr Madge said average temperatures for early April in the South East, where he suggested the mercury could reach up to 17C, were around 12C to 13C.

"So the fact that this is early April, it will feel nice," he said.

WEATHER Warm March
(PA Graphics)

The warmer weather might not last long though, with the weekend looking "certainly unsettled".

"Saturday is an unsettled day whereas tomorrow looks like it's going to be a very nice day," Mr Madge said.

"We could see similar temperatures on Saturday in the South East but because of the uncertain nature over the weekend the range of temperatures will be greater."

The warmest day of the year so far was March 10, when  16.6C was recorded in Colwyn Bay, north Wales, he said.

The brief warmth will be welcome respite from what Mr Madge called a "very wet" March.

Average UK temperature in March (PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

"Devon had its fourth wettest March since 1910, although that was not necessarily replicated everywhere," he said.

"Pretty much everywhere apart from places like the North West and west of Scotland saw pretty much above average rainfall.

"Some areas, particularly Devon, the Severn Vales and parts of the North East, saw levels approaching double the amount expected for March.

"Not record-breaking necessarily but a particularly wet month."

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