Why is the weather so warm?

A year on from the Beast from the East which left Britons battling snow and ice, a new record has been set for the UK's warmest February day.

– What weather records have been broken?

The temperature reached 20.3C (68.5F) at Trawsgoed in Ceredigion, west Wales, on Monday, the UK's warmest February day on record, beating the previous record of 19.7C (67.4F) recorded in Greenwich in 1998.

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Warm UK weather in February 2019
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Warm UK weather in February 2019
Composite photos of the view through the Croft An Righ in Holyrood, Edinburgh on 28/02/18 (top), during the Beast from the East, and the same view on 26/02/19, as Britain experienced record-breaking temperatures after Tuesday became the warmest winter day on record.
Composite photo of cars stuck on the M80 near Haggs in Glasgow on 28/02/18 (top), during the Beast from the East, and the same view on 26/02/19, as Britain experienced record-breaking temperatures after Tuesday became the warmest winter day on record.
Composite photos of on 01/03/18 (top), during the Beast from the East, and the same view on 26/02/19, as Britain experienced record-breaking temperatures after Tuesday became the warmest winter day on record.
Composite photo of people walking their dogs on Blyth Beach in Northumberland on 27/02/18 (top), during the Beast from the East, and the same view on 25/02/18 as Britain experienced record-breaking temperatures after Tuesday became the warmest winter day on record.
Composite photo of the Kelpies in Helix Park, Falkirk on 28/02/18 (top), during the Beast from the East, and the same view on 26/02/18, as Britain experienced record-breaking temperatures after Tuesday became the warmest winter day on record.
Composite photo of the Kelpies in Helix Park, Falkirk on 28/02/18 (top), during the Beast from the East, and the same view on 26/02/18, as Britain experienced record-breaking temperatures after Tuesday became the warmest winter day on record.
Composite photo of the M876 motorway in Scotland on 03/01/18 (top), during the Beast from the East, and the same view on 26/02/19, as Britain experienced record-breaking temperatures after Tuesday became the warmest winter day on record.
People enjoy the warm weather on Boscombe Pier in Dorset.
Composite photo of Victor the polar bear enjoying the snow at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster, South Yorkshire on 28/02/18 (top), during the Beast from the East, and polar bears Pixel and Nissan at the same wildlife park on 25/02/19 as Britain experienced record-breaking temperatures after Tuesday became the warmest winter day on record.
A photographer lines up his shot from the summit of Latrigg in Cumbria, looking out over the Lake District. Forecasters have said that after this weekend's unseasonably warm weather, temperatures later this week should return to normal.
People leave the sea after an early morning swim as they enjoy the warm weather on Boscombe beach in Dorset.
The sun sets behind the M4 Prince of Wales bridge near Bristol, as much of the country enjoys a weekend of unseasonably warm weather.
Paddle boarders enjoy the warm weather and calm seas off of Boscombe beach in Dorset.
Gogerddan, on the west coast of Wales, reached a record-breaking 19.1C (66.38F), the warmest Welsh day in February since 1990.
Gogerddan, on the west coast of Wales, reached a record-breaking 19.1C (66.38F), the warmest Welsh day in February since 1990.
People make the most of the sun and warm weather at Clapham Common in London, Britain, February 24, 2019. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
A woman reads a book during sunny weather on Primrose Hill in London, Britain February 24 , 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
A woman reads a book during sunny weather on Primrose Hill in London, Britain February 24 , 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
The UK has been enjoying a spell of dry and sunny weather.
The UK has been enjoying a spell of dry and sunny weather.
The UK has been enjoying a spell of dry and sunny weather.
A spell of warm weather this weekend is set to bring temperatures in the UK close to the record for February, according to the Met Office.
A spell of warm weather this weekend is set to bring temperatures in the UK close to the record for February, according to the Met Office.
A woman enjoys the sun on the South Bank in central London.
A man enjoys the sun on the South Bank in central London.
Paddle boarders enjoy the warm weather and calm seas off of Boscombe beach in Dorset.
People explore the foreshore of the river Thames, in central London, as many parts of the UK enjoyed unusually warm temperatures.
A man paints beach huts along the sea front at Southwold in Suffolk, as Britain could experience more record-breaking temperatures this week. PRESS ASSOCIATION The UK has experienced its warmest winter day since records began with temperatures hitting 20.8C in Porthmadog, Gwynedd, west Wales on Tuesday as Britain could experience more record-breaking temperatures this week. See PA story WEATHER Warm. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
A man retrieves his model yacht from the boating lake at Southwold in Suffolk, as Britain could experience more record-breaking temperatures this week. PRESS ASSOCIATION The UK has experienced its warmest winter day since records began with temperatures hitting 20.8C in Porthmadog, Gwynedd, west Wales on Tuesday as Britain could experience more record-breaking temperatures this week. See PA story WEATHER Warm. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
People enjoy the warm weather at Tynemouth beach as Britain could experience more record-breaking temperatures this week.
Young women sit amongst the crocuses as they enjoy the sunshine in Green Park, London. Britain could experience more record-breaking temperatures this week.
People sit on the grass during lunchtime next to Winchester Cathedral in Hampshire.
People sit on rocks with their tops off as they enjoy the sunshine at Woolacombe, North Devon as Britain could experience more record-breaking temperatures this week.
A surfer looks out from the edge of rocks as he prepares to enter the sea at Woolacombe, North Devon as Britain could experience more record-breaking temperatures this week.
People sit on rocks with their tops off as they enjoy the sunshine at Woolacombe, North Devon as Britain could experience more record-breaking temperatures this week.
The sunrise over the North Sea in Whitley Bay. The UK could experience more record-breaking temperatures this week after Monday became the warmest winter day on record.
Sunrise over Parliament Square, London. The UK could experience more record-breaking temperatures this week after Monday became the warmest winter day on record.
The sunrise over the North Sea in Whitley Bay. The UK could experience more record-breaking temperatures this week after Monday became the warmest winter day on record.
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Meteorologists said it was the first time the temperature has exceeded 20C (68F) in winter (December to February).

It is also the earliest recording of an above 20C (68F) temperature in a calendar year, since 20.2C (68.4F) was recorded at Exeter Airport on March 2, 1977.

The first time the temperature has gone above 20C in winter making today the warmest February day on recordOn Monday, temperatures of 20.2C (68.4F) in Northalt, West London, and 20.1C (68.2F) in Gogerddan, west Wales were also recorded.

– Why is it so warm?

According to the Met Office the record-breaking conditions are a result of warm air combining with a period of sunshine across the UK, resulting in higher temperatures.

People are seen through a heat haze walking in the sunshine in Kent
People are seen through a heat haze walking in the sunshine on the promenade in Folkestone, Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Winds from the south and southeast of the country, including from Spain and Africa, are pushing air over a part of Wales that has the greatest "land track", causing it to get gradually warmer.

The further the air travels over land the more moisture it loses and faster it heats up, the Met Office said.

Temperatures in west London are also high as the air is warmed by travelling over the city.

– How unusual is this warm weather?

Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said: "It's exceptional for it to be this warm at this time of year."

Average temperatures for the month of February in the UK are around 8C, the Met Office has previously said.

Snow falling in Edinburgh, on February 28 last year
Snow falling in Edinburgh, on February 28 last year (PA)

This time last year the country was being blasted by the Beast from the East, which brought snow and freezing conditions.

According to the Met Office, being a small island, the UK is usually a "relatively mild" country with weather mostly affected by conditions over the Atlantic and west of the country.

– What has been the reaction to the conditions?

Mr Burkill said the current conditions were forecasted by experts but are "exceptionally" high for the time of year.

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas linked the warm weather to concerns over "climate breakdown" and called on the government to "wake up to this crisis".

She said: "I like spending an afternoon in the sunshine as much as anyone, but it's impossible to shake the feeling that this isn't right.

"After last year's unprecedented global heatwave and last month's deadly temperatures in Australia, our baseline perception of what's normal is shifting."

The Met Office said the predictions around climate change are that the UK will experience greater extremes of weather, including more higher and lower temperatures and unsettled conditions at times.

– How long will the warm weather last?

The Met Office warned that conditions could be chilly, frosty and cloudy overnight on Monday, with temperatures in some places getting below freezing.

But the warm weather is expected to be repeated on Tuesday with temperatures possibly reaching 21C.

Later in the week temperatures will drop and conditions will become more changeable.

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