UK weather: Brits set to sizzle in 'exceptional' 24C on hottest March day since 1968

[30-03-2021 11:32 AM]

Ammon News - Forecasters say the unseasonably warm March weather on Tuesday could bring the hottest day in the month for 53 years as lockdown-weary Brits flock to parks and beaches where they can now meet friends and family.

Brits could bake in the hottest March weather since 1968 with temperatures set to exceed 24C in parts of the country.

The mercury could top 24C in an area covering London, East Anglia and the East Midlands on Tuesday.

The unseasonably warm spell comes just 24 hours after people in England were once again freed to mix with friends and family outdoors in the Rule of Six or two households.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged people to remain cautious with many set to flock to parks and beaches to enjoy the "exceptionally warm" spell of weather.

Across the country on Monday, people made the most of sunny conditions and the easing of rules, while golfers returned to the fairways and swimmers took the plunge in outdoor pools as open air sports were allowed to resume.

According to the Met Office, the mercury reached 20.4C (68.7F) at St James's Park in central London and Writtle in Essex on Monday - the highest temperature recorded in the UK this year.

Temperatures in March have not gone above 24C (75.2F) since March 29, 1968, when 25.6C (78F) was recorded in Mepal in Cambridgeshire.

Steven Keates, a Met Office meteorologist, said: "If we do get above 24 it will be the highest UK March temperature in 53 years. It seems a reasonable chance that's going to happen."

He added: "It's an exceptionally warm spell of weather with potential for some records to be challenged."

Mr Keates said conditions would turn "cooler" through Thursday ahead of the arrival of the Easter weekend.

He said Scotland's highest temperature of the year was equalled by the 19.3C (66.7F) at Aboyne in Aberdeenshire on Monday and a new top temperature for 2021 so far in Northern Ireland was set by the 17.3C (63.1F) recorded at Helen's Bay in County Down.

Boris Johnson acknowledged Monday was a "big day" for many people as they could reunite in socially-distanced friend and family groups outdoors for the first time in weeks.

The Prime Minister said he hoped people would take advantage of the "beautiful weather" to play sport or exercise, while also emphasising the country should still "proceed with caution".

"I know how much Government has asked of the people in the last year, but I also know how magnificently - incredible patience and fortitude - people have responded," he told a Downing Street press conference on Monday.

"It's my view, overwhelmingly, people are determined to continue to do that and they do understand the need for caution."

The hot weather comes ahead of the long Easter weekend, when temperatures are set to dip sharply again to single figures, prompting concerns that arranged get-togethers could be moved indoors.

England's chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, said there was a "high likelihood" cases would rise as lockdown restrictions were steadily lifted under the Government's road map.

He added, however, that the impact should be "modest" if people continued to follow social-distancing guidelines.

"If people stick to social distancing rules and they are outside, the risk of transmission is massively lower than if they are very close together and inside," Prof Whitty said.

"Provided people stick to outdoors and at a distance if it's people who are not in their households, the impact in terms of an uptick should be modest."

In Wales, the stay local order ended on Saturday and people were allowed to stay in self-contained holiday accommodation.

The stay home order in Scotland is to end on Friday, while in Northern Ireland up to six people, or two households, will be able to meet outdoors from Thursday.


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