The averaging period used for the following assessment was 1961-1990.
An exceptionally warm month, with all climate districts and regions setting new April records for maximum and mean temperatures (areal series back to 1914). Maximum temperatures anomalies were over 5 °C above the 1961-1990 average across much of southern England and parts of eastern Scotland. Rainfall generally well below average, with many stations over south-east England and east Anglia recording less than 3 mm of rainfall. Sunshine was also well above average across the majority of the UK, with some areas having their sunniest April on record.
England diary of highlights
April mean temperatures were the warmest on record across England (series back to 1914), with well above average sunshine. Very dry too, with most stations over south-east England and East Anglia recording less than 3 mm of rainfall.
1st to 7th:
The month started with a large area of high pressure to the north of the UK, and low pressure to the south. This meant brisk easterly winds across England for the first few days, and these were quite strong across parts of the south with gusts to 50 m.p.h. in a few places from the 1st to the 3rd. Despite the breeze, it was warm with temperatures reaching 20.1 °C on the Solent. However, on the 3rd, a weak cold front spread southwards, and brought much cooler conditions for a day or so with highest temperatures on the 3rd, just 13.5 °C at Camborne. Temperatures recovered strongly thereafter, with 20.4 °C at Bridlington on the 5th and 20.2 °C on the Solent on the 6th. During this time, most places had plenty of sunshine, though low cloud affected north-eastern coasts at times. Clear skies overnight allowed temperatures to fall quickly after dark, with a widespread ground frost on most nights and an air frost on a few with lowest temperatures -2.6 °C at both Marham and Benson on the 5th. There were also a few showers across the south on the 1st and across parts of north-east England and the Midlands on the 3rd, otherwise it was a completely dry week for most.
8th to 14th:
High pressure persisted across the United Kingdom throughout this week, firstly edging south-westwards to be positioned to the south-west of the UK for a couple of days, before bulging eastwards again and finally taking up residence across central Europe. This meant a continuation of the dry, sunny and warm theme across England throughout this week. With sunny days and clear skies, and by now the ground drying out, there was often a significant contrast between day and night time temperatures. Ground frost was recorded on many mornings, and air frost on a few with Benson falling to -1.1 °C on the morning of the 1st and Shap falling to -0.9 °C on the 12th. Daytime temperatures were generally in the mid to high teens Celsius, but as the high pressure moved eastwards, even warmer air fed in off the Continent, and by the 14th, temperatures were reaching up to 23 °C across parts of the south.
15th to 21st:
High pressure maintained the dry, settled theme for most with again most places recording no rainfall at all. However, a weak front moved southwards into northern England on the 20th and gave a little rain to some hills, with 3 mm at Spadeadam and 2 mm at Shap Fell. The run of very warm days continued with 26.5 °C being recorded at Herstmonceux on the 15th and 25.5 °C being recorded on the Solent on the 16th. However, a weak cold front brought cooler conditions southwards on the 17th and 18th with temperatures, even in the south returning to the high teens Celsius. Nights were locally chilly with a grass frost in places.
22nd to 30th:
High pressure declined for a time during this period, and this allowed the weather to become more unsettled for a time, particularly in the north and the west. Troughs and fronts edges south-eastwards during the 23rd to the 25th and brought some useful rain to some northern and western areas. The highest 24 hour (09-09 UTC) rainfall total on 23rd was at Shap (Cumbria) with 54.0 mm, with Dunkeswell (Devon) recording 22.6 mm. Record high April 24 hour minimum temperatures were recorded on 24th and 25th, with 24-hour temperature at London St James Park not falling below 14.5 °C on 25th. Further east, the front ran out of steam, and apart from a few showers, many places remained dry. High pressure then reasserted itself from the north from the 26th onwards with mostly dry and sunny weather returning, but with an easterly breeze in the south. However, a few thundery showers occurred across the far south and south-west on the 29th and 30th.
Wales diary of highlights
April mean temperatures were the warmest on record across Wales (series back to 1914), with well above average sunshine. It was a largely dry month, although there was a brief wet spell in the north later in the month.
1st to 7th:
The first week was largely dry with high pressure to the north and a north-easterly wind across Wales. Winds became more northerly as high pressure moved south to Ireland. Generally dry with sunny spells, but with cool nights and pleasantly warm in some spots by day. There was a touch of ground frost in some rural areas with 0.8 °C at Trawscoed on the 2nd. Trawscoed recorded 16 °C on the 7th.
8th to 14th:
High pressure continued to dominate the weather although moving south of Wales for a time with a more westerly wind flow. Nights were milder at first with cloud and a minimum of 10 °C at Rhyl on the 10th, and sunny spells by day with maximum 17.5 °C at St Athan. A low temperature of -1.2 °C at Sennybridge reported on the 11th, but a daytime maximum of 17.5 °C at Trawsgoed. A maximum temperature of 22 °C was recorded at Capel Curig on the 13th.
15th to 21st:
Although high pressure remaining in control, a weak weather front moved across the country on the 16th with cooler, slightly frosty nights. Mainly dry, but one notable rainfall event. Warm and sunny on the 15th, but a thunderstorm was reported at Merthyr Tydfil with 31.2 mm recorded between 1400 and 1600. Cloudier on the 16th, but bright spells allowed Pembrey Sands to report 18.5 °C, but with a cooler 11.8 °C at Aberporth. A slight frost at Sennybridge on the 18th with -0.1 °C, and -0.9 °C reported at Trawscoed on the 19th, but a maximum at Sennybridge of 17.2 °C by day. On the 20th Trawscoed recorded a low of -0.7 °C and a high of 18.6 °C.
22nd to 30th:
High pressure moved to the east on the 21st with a south-westerly flow bringing mild air and bands of rain across Wales until the 25th. Then high pressure reestablished itself towards the end of the month. Some rain reached north Wales on the 22nd and continued until the 24th with 69 mm recorded at Capel Curig in 36 hours. A maximum of 17.2 °C at Hawarden on the 23rd and 17.8 °C on the 24th. Valley recorded a 24-hour minimum of 11.4 °C on 25 April, which was their highest 24-hour April minimum on record (records back to 1931). The rest of the month was largely dry with bright or sunny spells, and just a few showers. Pleasantly warm with a north-easterly wind. A temperature of 19.5 °C was recorded at Hawarden on the 29th and 21.5 °C at Pembrey Sands on the 30th.
Scotland diary of highlights
April mean temperatures were the warmest on record across Scotland (series back to 1914), with generally well above average sunshine and well below average rainfall.
It was a dry and settled start to the month with high pressure dominating. The 1st through to the 4th was dry with the best of the sunshine over the south and west, but cooler and cloudy at times in the east. Temperatures ranging from 15 °C in the west to 8 °C on the east coast. Warmer on the 4th, with temperatures reaching 21.0 °C at Aboyne after an overnight temperature of -1.8 °C. It was another sunny dry in the south and east on the 5th, with the temperature reaching 19 °C at Leuchars. Shetland was much colder with a maximum temperature of 5.6 °C at Baltasound.
More cloud around on the 6th, but still mainly dry, although cold with rain and sleet over the Northern Isles. Rain continued across the far North on the 7th with sleet or wet snow, at times across Shetland. Elsewhere, after a chilly start another bright day with 17 °C being recorded at Glenlivet. Cloudy with rain across the north and west on the 8th and 9th but somewhat brighter elsewhere. Patchy rain/drizzle across the north-west on the 10th and 11th with brighter conditions with sunny spells in the south and east, with temperatures of around 18 °C across Aberdeenshire. The 12th and 13th were dry everywhere with long spells of sunshine, but haar affected the east coast and Northern Isles on 13th. Top temperature of 21 °C at Kinloss but only 8 °C at Leuchars. Similar on the 14th and 15th with many places recording 21 °C, Aboyne had 23 °C on 14th and Fyvie Castle 24 °C on 15th.
Showers became more widespread in the north-west on the 16th with Loch Glascarnoch recording 9.4 mm of rain, though there was still plenty of sunshine to be found. A showery trough spread southwards on the 17th with sunny or clear spells following. Rain affected the north on the 18th, but dry and bright elsewhere. Gales developed across the Northern Isles, with Kirkwall recording a gust of 48 knots. A weakening cold front pushed south on the 19th, with wintry showers developing in the north-east. The maximum temperature at Baltasound was only 3.8 °C. Frosty across the north at first on the 20th, with a temperature of -3.7 °C recorded at Altnaharra. Wintry showers across Shetland until mid-morning, otherwise a generally cloudy day with patchy light rain. The 21st saw rain, especially across northern parts, heaviest in north-west, however the south was mainly dry through much of the day.
The 22nd became drier from the west with sunny spells across eastern parts, and temperatures reaching 18.9 °C at Lossiemouth. However, showers developed in the west and merged to give a longer spells of rain through the afternoon across Lochaber. An exceptionally mild night followed with Wick, Leuchars and Eskdalemuir equalling or breaking long term 24-hour minimum temperature records. A bright start on the 23rd, but rain across the west spread north-eastwards reaching Shetland by the evening. Tewnty-four-hour minimum temperature records set on the 23rd lasted only 24 hours in many places, with Edinburgh Gogarbank falling no lower than 13.1 °C.
Mixed fortunes on the 24th with many south-western areas staying cloudy with showers, West Freugh reaching 12.2 °C. Some fine sunny spells developed in parts of the north and east, Aboyne warmest at 19.8 °C though the warmth set off some heavy thundery showers in Moray. Eskdalemuir surpassed their 24 hour minimum temperature record for April again on 24/25th, with the temperature falling no lower than 10.4 °C. A wetter night though, with the rain slowly clearing to sunshine and showers on the 25th, though the Western Isles stayed dull and wet. Warm in most places, with Altnaharra reaching a temperature of 18.8 °C.
The 26th through to the 30th was dry with long periods of unbroken sunshine, although mist and low cloud often affected areas near the east coast. Cool along the east coast too, with a maximum temperature of 10 °C in Aberdeen on 29th. Temperatures up to 21 °C in sunshine further west.
Northern Ireland diary of highlights
April mean temperatures were the warmest on record across Northern Ireland (series back to 1914), with well above average sunshine and well below average rainfall.
A dry and settled start to the month, with high pressure dominating. The 1st through to the 5th was dry and mostly sunny with some frost and fog in the mornings. Top temperatures generally 14 to 16 °C, but 17 °C on 5th in Newry. The 6th was another dry and mostly sunny day, temperatures again around 15 or 16 °C, although a chilly start, with a temperature of -2.6 °C recorded at Katesbridge. Similar weather on the 7th. Patchy mist dispersed after dawn on the 8th, leaving often large amounts of cloud with some bright, sunny or clear spells, more so across the east, where the temperature reached 14 °C at Aldergrove.
Rather cloudy on the 9th, 10th and 11th with spots of rain/drizzle, mainly across the north and west while eastern areas had brighter/clearer spells. Temperatures reaching 16 °C on the 11th. The 12th and 13th were dry everywhere with almost unbroken sunshine and temperatures up to 18 °C. Similar on the 14th with temperatures in excess of 20 °C. Early mist cleared on the 15th to another bright or sunny day with temperatures in excess of 17 °C. Patchy rain developed during the evening. After a crisp sunny start on the 16th cloud increased to bring a few light showers. Showers cleared south-eastwards with bright, sunny or clear spells on the 17th. The 18th started off chilly with -2 °C being recorded at Katesbridge, but a fine day followed with daytime temperatures reaching in excess of 15 °C. The 19th was mostly cloudy with patchy light rain. Dry on the 20th with variable, often large, amounts of cloud and sunny spells with 17 °C recorded in the west.
The 21st was rather cloudy with patchy rain mainly across the north but some brighter spells with temperatures reaching 18 °C in Newry. Outbreaks of mainly light rain cleared eastwards soon after dawn on the 22nd with sunny spells and scattered showers developing as temperatures reached towards 20 °C in Newry. Cloud increased from the west during the evening which led to rain during the morning and afternoon of the 23rd with brighter or clearer conditions with showers following during the afternoon and evening.
The 24 hour minimum temperature at Aldergrove fell no lower than 12.7 °C on 23rd, which is an April record for Aldergrove (records back to 1931). The 24th was a mixed day with variable cloud, some showery rain and some bright or sunny spells, these lifting temperatures to 17 °C in many areas. Another showery day on the 25th, some heavy in the early hours but turning light and scattered through the day. Patchy mist, fog and frost dissipated after dawn on the 26th with a bright or sunny day following. The temperature range at Castlederg was 0 °C to 17C.
The 27th to the 30th was dry and sunny with temperatures reaching 17 or 18 °C but the east coast was cooler due to an onshore wind.
Last updated: Jun 27, 2013 12:22 PM