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April 2010

The averaging period used for the following assessment was 1971-2000.

UK overview

The first week was unsettled but after this high pressure became established and remained over or close to the UK for most of the month. April was therefore mainly dry and fine, although Scotland was less settled again during the second half. Daily maximum temperatures were above average and places in England reached 20 °C on several days. However, minimum temperatures were near normal and there were some frosts. Overall, April was a dry month across England and Wales, most parts recording less than 50% of average rainfall, but it was not as dry as April 2007. Scotland and Northern Ireland received closer to average rainfall. It was a sunny month, particularly over England and Wales where it was the fifth-sunniest April in a series from 1929.

A maximum temperature of 22.9 °C was recorded on 29th at Faversham (Kent). A minimum temperature of -7.0 °C was recorded early on 2nd at Braemar (Aberdeenshire) and Cromdale near Grantown-on-Spey (Moray). In the 24 hours ending at 0900 on 6th, 80.0 mm of rainfall was measured at Skye: Alltdearg House (Isle of Skye). As a result of the heavy snowfalls at the end of March, 39 cm of lying snow was reported from Aviemore (Highland) at 0900 on 1st. A wind gust of 68 mph was recorded on 5th at Capel Curig (Conwy).

England diary of highlights

The first week was unsettled but after this high pressure over or close to the UK brought plenty of dry and fine weather until the last few days. Daily maximum temperatures were above average and reached 20 °C in places on several days. However, daily minimum temperatures were close to normal with some frosts. Overall, April was a dry month, with less than 50% of the monthly average rainfall recorded in many areas and only about 30% of average in parts of northern England and East Anglia. It ranks equal twelfth driest in a 100-year series, but was not as dry as April 2007. A sunny month, particularly in the Midlands, East Anglia and the south where totals were over 150% of normal locally. It ranks fifth sunniest in a series from 1929, similar to April 1990 but not as sunny as April 2007.

1st to 7th: During this period, outbreaks of rain or showers moved eastwards with a few sleet and snow showers affecting northern hills at first. There was heavy rainfall over northern and western parts early on 5th, with totals over 20 mm recorded in Cumbria, and the west or south-westerly winds were particularly strong on 5th and 6th. This weather system cleared eastwards on the evening of 7th. Daily maximum temperatures were mostly close to 10 °C, but it was warmer on 6th when 17.5 °C was recorded at Monks Wood (Cambridgeshire).

8th to 24th: High pressure dominated for much of the period, giving prolonged dry weather and plenty of sunshine. However, temperatures regularly fell to near or below 0 °C overnight with, for example, -2.9 °C at Benson (Oxfordshire) early on 8th. There were a few cloudier days, notably 14th, 19th and 20th. By 24th, overnight temperatures were recovering and the maximum temperature reached 21.3 °C at St. James's Park (Greater London).

25th to 30th: From 25th, there was a slow breakdown of the settled spell as frontal systems spread cloud and outbreaks of rain eastwards. Rainfall amounts were generally small, however. Winds became west or south-westerly and were strong at times, but introduced warmer air, with 22.0 °C recorded at Leeming (North Yorkshire) on 28th. By 30th, temperatures were closer to normal, reaching 16 °C in eastern areas.

Wales diary of highlights

The first week was unsettled but after this high pressure over or close to the UK brought largely dry and fine weather before a more changeable end to the month. Mean daily maximum temperatures were above the 1971-2000 average but daily minimum temperatures were close to normal, with some frosts. It was a dry month across Wales, with places in the east and north recording less than 50% of the monthly average, and only about 30% in Anglesey and other parts of North Wales. It was a sunny month with about 130 to 140% of average amounts and ranks fifth in a series from 1929, but not as sunny as April 2007 (first).

1st to 7th: An unsettled and rather cold start to the month with generally low pressure giving showers or outbreaks of rain. It was cold enough for some snow over the Brecon Beacons on 1st. It was also windy with a gust of 56 m.p.h. reported at Pembrey Sands (Carmarthenshire) on 1st. The 5th was mainly dry with sunny periods. There were also some cold nights with local frost.

8th to 18th: High pressure built across Wales early in this period and ensured dry, fine conditions thereafter. There were some fairly warm days with, for example, 19.4 °C recorded at Bala (Gwynedd) and Trawsgoed (Ceredigion) on 10th. Under clear skies at night it remained chilly with local frosts.

19th to 30th: Pressure remained relatively high during this period with a good deal of fine and dry weather but weak weather fronts gave a little rain at times. There were some cool days and localised frost again occurred on some nights, notably the 21st and 22nd with -4.6 °C at Sennybridge (Powys) early on 21st and at Capel Curig (Conwy) early on 22nd. The month finished on a rather unsettled note as a showery trough brought some heavy showers from the west.

Scotland diary of highlights

A changeable first week was followed by a period of fine weather, before it turned more unsettled again in the second half of the month. Mean temperatures were about 1.0 °C above the 1971-2000 normal. Rainfall was near to normal overall, although it was drier in areas close to the east coast with less than 50% of average recorded in the eastern Scottish Borders. Sunshine totals were generally some 10 to 20% above average, the exception being parts of the Western and Northern Isles where it was somewhat duller than normal.

1st to 9th: On 1st, showers of hail, sleet or snow became confined to the north with sunny spells and an overnight frost elsewhere. A minimum temperature of -7.0 °C was recorded at Braemar (Aberdeenshire) early on 2nd which was mainly dry and bright, but with showers in the north and later the Borders. Mainly cloudy on 3rd with rain or showers, some heavy and thundery in the south in the afternoon. A cloudy start to 4th with showery rain and rain in the far west later. Cloudy with rain on morning of 5th, heavy in the west, but drier in the afternoon; over 30 mm of rainfall was recorded at several places in 24 hours to 0900 on 6th. Further rain on 6th, heaviest in the south-west, gradually clearing eastwards during late afternoon and evening. Sunny spells on 7th with a few light showers before rain reached western areas during evening. Cloudy morning on 8th with showery rain, gradually dying out. Mainly cloudy on 9th with patchy rain, mainly in the north-west, but a brighter afternoon with the temperature reaching 15.1 °C at Bishopton (Renfrewshire) and Prestwick (Ayrshire).

10th to 16th: Dry with plenty of sunshine from 10th to 12th, with temperatures peaking around 20 °C, but chilly at night with patchy fog and frost. Mist and sea fog affected the Northern Isles on 11th with a band of thicker cloud moving into the north on 12th. Cloudier and cooler generally on 13th but still 15.4 °C at Dunstaffnage (Argyll and Bute). Dry on 14th with long sunny spells developing and dry again on 15th with sunny spells. The 16th was mainly dry, with the temperature reaching 18.3 °C at Aboyne (Aberdeenshire), but rain affected the north-west later.

17th to 24th: Mainly cloudy on 17th with a band of rain slow-moving in the far north, but sunny spells in the east. The 18th saw sunny spells but also showers, these wintry on hills and to lower levels in the north. The 19th was mainly bright with showers, these wintry on hills. Heavy showers in the north-west in the evening. Further sunny spells and wintry showers on 20th, the showers most frequent in the north with strong to gale-force north-westerly winds. On 21st, sunny spells and showers, again wintry on hills and to lower levels across the north. A few showers in the north, wintry on hills, on 22nd otherwise dry and bright. A mostly cloudy day on 23rd with outbreaks of rain, and snow over the Highlands. Rather cloudy on 24th with outbreaks of mostly light rain spreading north-east, but brighter spells developed across southern and central parts.

25th to 30th: Rather cloudy on 25th with outbreaks of showery rain, thundery for a time in the late afternoon through central areas. On 26th, outbreaks of rain across the west and north became confined to Shetland through the morning to leave a bright day with occasional showers, these mainly in the west. Bright on 27th with a top temperature of 17.9 °C at Lossiemouth (Moray), but rain spread from the west later. Cloudy with outbreaks of rain heavy at first in the west on 28th but drier and brighter in the east. A bright day on 29th with variable cloud and a few showers. Sunny spells and scattered heavy showers on 30th, some of these thundery.

Northern Ireland diary of highlights

The first few days were unsettled then high pressure close to the UK brought plenty of dry, fine weather before it turned showery towards the end of the month. Mean temperatures were about 1.0 °C above the 1971-2000 normal, due to mean daily maximum temperatures being well above average. Rainfall was somewhat below normal and sunshine duration was rather above normal.

1st to 6th: A frost early and late on 1st, otherwise sunshine and occasional heavy showers. After an early frost on 2nd, it clouded over with showery rain. Cloudy with rain on 3rd, clearing to showers later. A bright day with sunny spells on 4th but some showers over the north coast in the morning and heavy rain in late evening. Some early rain then brighter on 5th but heavy rain in evening, giving 24-hour totals over 25 mm in places. Further rain during morning of 6th then drier and brighter but showers followed from the west.

7th to 12th: Mainly dry with some sunshine on 7th and a few light showers. Mainly dry on 8th with bright spells during morning then mostly cloudy with some light rain. Dry with plenty of sunshine from 9th to 12th with temperatures reaching 18 to 20 °C by day but cold nights.

13th to 17th: Dry again on 13th but cloudier and cooler, although the temperature reached 16.1 °C at St Angelo (County Fermanagh). Dry, cooler with sunny spells and light north-easterly winds from 14th to 16th. Still mostly dry on 17th with bright and sunny spells, although becoming cloudy in the north.

18th to 24th: A little rain spread southwards through 18th with bright then clear intervals following. A bright day with sunny spells on 19th, but some rain in the north in the evening. Sunny spells on 20th with isolated showers, wintry on hills. A frosty start across the south on 21st, with -6.1 °C recorded at Katesbridge (County Down), before a little rain spread from the north with bright or clear spells following. Remaining bright and dry on 22nd. Mainly dry and bright on 23rd, with the temperature at Castlederg (County Tyrone) reaching 14.8 °C, although patchy rain affected the north coast. The 24th was also mainly dry, although patchy rain reached western parts during the evening.

25th to 30th: Bright but rather cloudy on 25th with outbreaks of showery rain, these turning thundery across south-eastern areas during the afternoon. Bright and warm on 26th with occasional, mainly light showers. Clouding over with rain spreading from the west on 27th. Variable cloud amounts with some light rain on 28th and a temperature of 18.8 °C at Ballykelly (County Londonderry). A bright day with variable cloud on 29th with a few showers or light rain. Sunny spells and showers on 30th, some of the showers heavy and thundery.

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