Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 4:34 PM on 6th April 2011
- Temperatures hotter than the Mediterranean
- Friday and Saturday will be scorchers, say the Met Office
Millions of people packed into parks and beaches today to enjoy the hottest day of the year so far as temperatures reached almost 23C - and are set to continue over the weekend.
Record temperatures soared to 22.9C (73F) in Gravesend, Kent - hotter than parts of the Mediterranean including Malta, Athens and Barcelona.
The sizzling weather will continue over the weekend with thousands of Britons set to head for the coast to soak up the heat and up to 70,000 are expected at Aintree for the Grand National.
Ice cream plan: Elise Williams and Skye Hagaman, both 15, make the most of the hot weather, in St James's Park, London, today
Surf's up: Sun-seekers frolic in the sea off Blyth beach in Northumberland
Britons will experience temperatures that are usually seen in the throngs of summer, at tournaments like Wimbledon.
Temperatures at this time of the year usually struggle to get above 12C (54F) and are accompanied by April showers.
But after the driest March on record for more than 100 years, this month looks set to continue the trend with soaring temperatures.
Lounging around: Tourists punting on the River Cherwell at the Oxford Botanical Gardens enjoyed the warm temperatures today
Sun and sea: Hundreds of people piled on to Brighton Beach today to enjoy temperatures set to reach 22C
Only 1.5 inches of rain fell across the country last month compared with the normal levels of 3.8 inches.
Gravesend in Kent reached 22.9C, while central London recorded temperatures of 22.7C and Heathrow 22.2C.
Even normally chilly Aberdeen in Scotland managed 20C (68F). The highs trump areas of the Mediterranean such as Malta, where temperatures will peak at 18C (64F). Athens and Barcelona will only reach 20C.
Tails up: Even the squirrels are getting in the mood for summer
Sun loungers: Miriam Cavallin, 20, and Nadine Ralser, 22, make the most of the sunshine in Green Park
THE FIVE-DAY FORECAST
Today: Dry, warm and sunny weather in the south while the north will see wet and windy weather, especially in western Scotland.
Tomorrow: Starting cloudy, particularly around coastal areas in the south west, but sun will spread north throughout the day with highs of 19C.
Friday: Another very warm day with less cloud than Thursday and temperatures across the country again reaching 19C.
Saturday: Starting cloudy but quickly clearing to bring sun by midday and temperatures reaching 21C, the second highest of the week.
Sunday: Temperatures still warm in central parts but more cloud and showers in parts of Wales. Dry and warm for the rest of the UK, but cooler than previous days.
In Cambridge, many people made the most of the unusually warm April weather by punting on the River Cam or walking along the pretty college Backs.
Others took time out in their lunch breaks and rolled up their shirt sleeves to relax in parks and gardens.
Children had to wear suncream for the first time this year as many enjoyed a warm start to their Easter holidays.
Even though the mercury looks likely to dip on Thursday and Friday, temperatures will increase over the weekend, hitting 21C (70F) on Saturday.
Meteorologists say today could mark the start of a prolonged period of good weather and it is hoped the dry conditions will continue throughout April and into early May.
Met Office forecaster Andrew Sibley said: 'Today will possibly be the warmest day this year, with warm, dry weather and sunny spells across much of England, Wales and eastern Scotland.
'It warms up again for the weekend, with temperatures in the upper 60s or higher on both Saturday and Sunday.
'There will be sunny spells and broken clouds, although there will be one or two localised sharp showers late on Saturday.'
Forecaster Brian Gaze, of The Weather Outlook, said: 'The mostly dry weather should continue into the weekend, which looks promising if you’re planning to have a barbecue.
'It looks a decent day for the Grand National at Aintree, which should be run under fine and dry skies. With a bit of luck, it will feel more like summer than spring.'
Reclining: A young woman laps up the rays as she sleeps in a deckchair in St James's Park today
Nice day for a ride: Cavalry troops exercise their horses in the sunshine at St James's Park in London today
Emma Pearson, from Positive Weather Solutions said: 'The PWS system continues to point to a dry day for the Grand National, with some limited bright spells, so overcast conditions do look like dominating the day still.
'Temperatures are expected to be 17C (63F) so feeling warm, and perhaps even a touch sultry.'
Ms Pearson predicts a 20 per cent chance of rain for Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding at the end of the month.
Sunshine break: Workers relaxing in the sun in St James's Park today
Work can wait: Relaxing by a tree in St James's Park
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The comments below have not been moderated.
I'm fed up of always seeing women. I want to see some men.
- Miss Springdip, England, 06/4/2011 19:25
22.9C (73F)------------------thanks Dm for the conversion, I hate when I have to google it. You Brits enjoy your weather while you can.-------------------------just one question, Do yuou guys have any sandy beaches? or are they all those rocks? just in case I do, want to bring proper shoes/ and chair.............. - Denise, Siesta Key Florida, 6/4/2011 16:51 ---------------------------------------------------- You personally would not be welcome in the UK, please stay were you are.
- John Preston, Stoke on Trent Staffs, 06/4/2011 19:14
I love spring. All those fine young bucks strutting around with their shirts off, yummy. - Roger, England, 06/4/2011 19:00 I agree, they're lush.
- Claire, Swansea, 06/4/2011 19:13
I love spring. All those fine young bucks strutting around with their shirts off, yummy.
- Roger, England, 06/4/2011 19:00
Yeah it was nice and hot. It was so nice even the Chemtrail planes had a hard job displacing their pay-loads. I'm sure it would have been even hotter still.
- Suzanne, Barnes, South London, 06/4/2011 19:00
Mke the most of it while you can.Soon be to normal,ie gales,cold and rain.
- Steve , Nottingham England, 06/4/2011 18:59
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