It could feel more like May than February for much of the UK this week, with forecasters predicting a spell of warm weather and “the first signs of spring” in the coming days.
In a likely welcome development for Britons still living under coronavirus lockdowns, clear skies and sunshine have been forecast for parts of the country for the rest of the week.
Highs of up to 17C are predicted for Norfolk and Cambridgeshire on Wednesday, with the mercury rising to around 15-16C across parts of south-east and central England.
While much of Scotland, Northern Ireland and parts of north Wales and north-west England have been braced to expect heavy rain, the rest of the UK has been told to expect mild and often dry conditions.
Met Office forecaster Oli Claydon said the mid-teen temperatures would seem especially warm given the recent freezing weather. He said: “A few days of milder temperatures are forecast.
“Through the week, we’re into double figures [in Celsius] for many places, including parts of Scotland. It will be a noticeable change from what we’ve had in recent weeks.”
The mild weather follows snowfall and sub-zero temperatures across much of the country earlier this month.
Wednesday’s predicted highs are well above the UK average maximum temperature for February, which stands at 6.6C, and will eclipse the average maximum temperature for May, which is 14.8C for the UK, and 15.8C for England.
Rain is forecast to move down across the UK from Wednesday into Thursday, but is likely to clear by Friday.
More sunshine is predicted for the end of the week, with sunshine and mild temperatures again peaking at up to 15C across the UK. Claydon added: “It will feel more like spring, especially in the sunshine.”