News > Central England has warmest April in three hundred years
Its official, those of us walking around thinking to ourselves that it has felt remarkably spring like of late were right. It has been remarkably spring like. April 2011 was officially the warmest April Britain as a whole has experienced for the last 100 years according to Met Office figures. The records show much of the UK saw temperatures between 3° to 5°C warmer than is normal for the month. The UK average temperature was 10.7°C, exceeding the previous warmest April on record of 10.2°C seen in 2007. But parts of the country are telling an even more impressive tale.
A BBC Weather Centre spokesman said: "The UK-wide records began in 1910, but the central England temperature series goes back to 1659, making it the warmest April here for over 350 years." He added. "The reason for the warm spring sunshine has been the persistence of high pressure systems dominating the weather pattern. These highs have been anchored across, or just to the east, of the UK. As a result, south-easterly winds have brought the warm air up from the near continent and at times from as far away as the Sahara."
These high pressure systems have been acting like a roadblock to the normal April weather patterns, preventing westerly winds from coming in from the Atlantic as they normally would at this time of the year. It is these westerlies that usually bring the cloud bearing weather systems and their absence is the reason for the lack of rain some parts of the country has experienced.
As farmers and gardeners around the UK know all too well all there has been a serious lack of rainfall stretching back several months. This means that the fact that this April has also been the 11th driest on record with about half the average rainfall has not been welcome. Coming out of a drier-than-average winter, the dry April followed a March which saw less than half of the normal rainfall falling across the UK. However within the general picture there has been some regional variations, parts of north-west Scotland saw about 110% of normal April rainfall, while parts of south-east England saw less than 10% of what they would normally expect.