One more day of warm, dry weather as firefighters tackle blazes

The UK will continue to bask in “wall-to-wall sunshine” for one more day before the return of showers and milder weather ends a record-breaking period, forecasters have said.

Wednesday is expected be the last of February’s exceptionally warm and dry weather which has seen fires at Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh and on West Yorkshire’s Saddleworth Moor.

Winter weather Feb 27th 2019
A view from Sandsend as the sun rises over Whitby, North Yorkshire (Neil Squires/PA)

Firefighters may welcome the showers that are predicted for much of the UK on Thursday, while those enjoying unseasonable sunbathing may not.

Met Office forecaster Dean Hall said temperatures as high as 20C (68F) could be recorded in London on Wednesday, with largely “wall-to-wall sunshine across the UK”.

“It’s going to feel pretty pleasant out there so certainly make the most of this exceptionally mild weather,” he said.

But he added: “Today is going to be the last day of any warmth and dry, settled weather.”

Cloud is predicted to move in and bring with it rain across much of the UK, while Scotland may be spared.

“Some of those showers could be heavy and there could be a rumbling of thunder with that as well,” Mr Hall said.

The UK saw a new winter record temperatures set in two consecutive days, with a reading of 21.2C (70.2F) at Kew Gardens in London.

Experts said climate change is heating up the whole weather system and making extremes more likely.

Mr Hall added that the impending downpours may “mitigate” the dry conditions faced by firefighters.

Good morning. Early fog patches will soon clear for another fine, sunny day for most and very mild again. Cloudier across the Northern Isles and some western coasts.All the latest can be found here: https://t.co/cQSfu1VDbo. Adam here today answering you tweets. pic.twitter.com/81knBoIfU3

— Met Office (@metoffice) February 27, 2019

Crews were expected to bring under control the blazes on Arthur’s Seat and Saddleworth Moor, having extinguished flames in East Sussex’s Ashdown Forest, which was made famous by the Winnie-the-Pooh books.

Wet and windy conditions are predicted for the weekend.