Weather: Britain to bask in temperatures hotter than Africa
Britain is set to finally welcome summer weather on Wednesday as the country basks in temperatures hotter than parts of Africa.
By Andrew Hough
3:30PM BST 22 May 2012
Forecasters said the mercury could nudge 28C (82F) as the heatwave ends the recent spate of cold weather and the six week record spring washout.
The Met Office predicted that swathes of the country would enjoy a “spell of good, sunny and warm weather” until at least the weekend.
Britain’s wild weather patterns have resulted in a sharp spike in temperatures over the past few days as the country goes from colder than the Arctic to hotter than Africa.
Temperatures hit 78.8F (26C) at Solent, Hants on Tuesday, to make it the hottest day of the year.
Tuesday’s 77F (25C) across the South-East and East Midlands resulted in parks full and seafronts finally being kept busy 10 days before summer officially starts.
This compares to Rabat, Morocco, which recorded temperatures today of 75.2F (24C). Scotland also enjoyed its warmest day of 2012, reaching 75.02F (23.9C) at Lossiemouth, Moray.
The Met Office said temperatures would reach the “high-20s” in the South, Midlands and Welsh borders from Wednesday while other independent forecasters predicted the mercury could top 80.6F (27C) and possibly even 82.4F (28C).
On Wednesday, many parts of the country are set to enjoy temperatures warmer than those in Africa including Port Said, Egypt, and Nouadhibou, on the border between Mauritania and Western Sahara.
Forecasters said temperatures would remain in the high 20s for the rest of the week. The Met Office said many areas would enjoy a “spell of good, sunny and warm weather”.
“It’s a big change from last week’s chilly temperatures to this week’s mid and possibly high 20s in some areas,” said Baden Hall, the Met Office’s deputy chief forecaster.
The weekend will push 77F (25C) in the west and 69.8F (21C) in the east, with the only rain being occasional showers in the south.
Despite the improved weather, rain still threatens to put a dampener on the Diamond Jubilee holiday next weekend.
The Met Office said southern areas were likely to be largely unsettled next week with showers or longer spells of rain.
Experts say the warm weather has been caused because Britain is currently between high and low pressure areas, which has allowed light winds to push across warm air positioned to the east of the country.
Water companies have signalled the beginning of the end for the hosepipe ban, with restrictions relaxed for gardening companies.
The hosepipe ban, imposed by seven water companies on April 5 after months of drought, was followed by the wettest April on record.
Poor rainfall for almost two years has caused arid conditions as rivers run dry and reservoirs reach record low levels. But after the spring deluge the Environment Agency announced that 19 counties were no longer in drought.
The lifting of drought status follows the highest level of monthly rainfall in over 100 years.
Despite the recent bad weather experts suggest that the summer to have “above-normal temperatures”.