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April 2017

The averaging period used for the following assessment was 1981-2010.

At the start of April, a weakening area of low pressure brought a showery day, but pressure quickly built from the south.  It was often warm until the 9th, especially on the weekend of the 8th/9th, with plenty of sunshine for much of the country although it was often cloudier in Northern Ireland and north-west Scotland.  From the 10th onwards temperatures were mostly close to average, with some cool nights, but the dry, anticyclonic theme continued.  There was a late cold snap between the 24th and 27th when a northerly outbreak brought scattered wintry showers and some overnight frosts.  The 30th was very wet in parts of the south-west.

The UK mean temperature was 8.0 °C, which is 0.6 °C above the 1981-2010 long-term average.  Mean maximum temperatures were mostly between 0.5 and 1.5°C above normal, but were slightly below normal in parts of Northern Ireland and western Scotland, while mean minimum temperatures were mostly between 0.5 and 1.0°C above normal, though lower towards the south-east.  Rainfall was below normal except in north-west Scotland and parts of Devon, with 46% of average overall, making it the 9th driest April in a series from 1910.  There was less than 5 mm of rain locally in south-east England and around Lothian and Fife.  Sunshine was 109% of average, and most of the country had above average sunshine but it was cloudier than average in parts of northern and western Scotland and north-west Wales, and notably so in Northern Ireland.

The UK monthly extremes were as follows:  A maximum temperature of 25.5 °C was recorded at Cambridge (Cambridgeshire) on the 9th.  A minimum temperature of -6.2 °C was recorded at Cromdale (Morayshire) on the 18th.  In the 24 hours ending at 0900 GMT on the 11th, 58.8 mm of rain fell at Achfary (Sutherland).  A wind gust of 67 knots (77 mph) was recorded at Sella Ness (Shetland) on the 5th. A snow depth of 12 cm was recorded at Cromdale (Morayshire) on the 25th.

Weather impacts

With benign conditions dominating the first three weeks of the month, there were no significant impacts until the 25th.  Snow was reported on the 24th, mainly on high-level roads across the central and northern Highlands of Scotland and Aberdeenshire, but no disruption was reported.  On the 25th, the snow gates were closed on the highest routes in Grampian. An HGV overturned on the A9 south of Inverness in snowy conditions.

The image below shows the view north from Cadair Idris toward the Rhinog Mountains in North Wales on the morning of 8 April 2017.  High pressure was established over the UK with the mountains projecting above a layer of haze at around 600 masl.  Photo courtesy Mike Kendon, Met Office


England diary of highlights

April began with slackening low pressure over the country and a mix of sunshine and showers, but it soon became dry, warm and sunny for most parts as high pressure built from the south.  It was often unseasonably warm until the 9th with plenty of dry sunny weather.  The rest of the month was cooler but remained mostly dry and settled.  A northerly outbreak brought widespread wintry showers on the 25th and 26th, and the 30th was wet in the south-west.

The mean temperature for April was 0.7 °C above the 1981-2010 long-term average. It was a dry April except in the Exeter area, with only 30% of average overall, but there have been nine drier Aprils in a series from 1910.  It was a sunny month except in parts of the north-west and north Devon, with 117% of average overall. 

1st to 9th

Early rain cleared away from northern districts on the 1st, to leave sunshine and showers.  The 2nd was warm and dry, and sunny for most parts.  The 3rd was warm, dry and sunny over northern districts but it turned showery during the evening across southern counties. The 4th was sunny and dry across northern and western districts but cloudy elsewhere, with sharp showers through south-eastern parts in the morning.  It was sunny over most of the country on the 5th but cloudier with some drizzle in the north-west.  The 6th was similar but it was drier in the north-west than on the 5th. It was sunny and very warm over the south on the 7th, cloudy elsewhere but the cloud did break up later.  The 8th started with patchy fog, mainly across the south and east, but this burnt away to leave a warm and sunny day across the country. The 9th was very warm and sunny across the south-east with temperatures widely in the 20s Celsius, and a maximum of 25.5 °C at Cambridge.

10th to 17th

The 10th was mostly dry and sunny, but cooler than of late. It was mostly dry, warm and sunny in on the 11th, with 12.3 hours of sunshine at Bude (Cornwall), but cooler and cloudier in the north. The 12th was bright in some parts but breezy, and Emley Moor (North Yorkshire) recorded a gust of 52mph; feeling warm in the south but patchy rain spread into northern parts later. The 13th was cool and bright with showers across the north but staying dry across southern counties. Patchy rain spread from the north on the 14th with the best of any brightness in the far south-east.  It was generally bright or sunny on the 15th with any showers confined to the north. Rain over the north-west on the 16th moved south and east across all parts by evening but dry conditions prevailed in the south-west.  It was generally bright on the 17th but cloudier with scattered showers through central and northern parts. 

18th to 23rd

The 18th saw a few isolated showers along the east coast, after a cold start with -5.5 °C recorded at Shap (Cumbria), but was otherwise generally dry and sunny.  Most of the country was sunny on the 19th but cloud in the north spread southwards during the day, accompanied by isolated showers, especially in the east. It was sunny in the far south-west on the 20th but generally cloudy elsewhere with isolated showery outbreaks across southern parts later. The 21st saw showers for the east coast; elsewhere it was dry but again mainly cloudy. It was showery again along the east coast on the 22nd but dry and sunny elsewhere with 13.4 hours of bright sunshine at Morecambe (Lancashire).  It was sunny across the north on the 23rd after a frost in places but patchy light rain spread into the north-west in the evening.

24th to 27th

The 24th was much cooler with showers for all, which turned wintry over hills in the north. The 25th was cold with showers, the showers thundery and/or wintry in places and heaviest down the east coast.  Wintry showers along the east coast early on the 26th spread inland and became widespread but many south-western parts stayed dry.  After a frosty start to the 27th, rain over the north moved south during the day, followed by widespread, locally heavy and wintry showers, particularly down the east coast.

28th to 30th

There was a bright start to the 28th with showers over both western and eastern coastal districts, but it turned cloudier everywhere as showers became more isolated later. The 29th was warmer, with early showers for Irish Sea coasts which died out by the afternoon. The 30th started wet for south-western areas, and the rain spread slowly north-east; 45.2mm was recorded at Dunkeswell (Devon), but the northern half of the country remained largely dry.

Wales diary of highlights

April began showery with a weakening area of low pressure, but it soon turned more settled as high pressure developed from the south.  It was very warm at times until the 9th, then generally cooler, but it stayed mostly dry.  It was cold at times towards the end of the month, and a northerly outbreak brought some wintry showers on the 25th and 26th.

The mean temperature for April was 0.6 °C above the long-term average.  It was a dry month everywhere with just 28% of average rainfall, and it was the 8th driest April in a series from 1910.  Sunshine was 104% of average, and most central and southern parts of the country had a sunny month but it was cloudier than average near the north coast, notably in Anglesey.

1st to 9th

Rain cleared away northwards on the 1st and gave way to sunshine and scattered showers.  The 2nd was a dry sunny day after a chilly start with frost in places.  It turned increasingly cloudy after a bright start on the 3rd with rain heaviest across the south-west from mid-afternoon, and it was windy with a gust of 47 mph at Capel Curig (Gwynedd). The 4th was dry and bright for most places, after early scattered showers in the south.  It was generally sunny on the 5th but somewhat cloudier along the west coast.  The 6th was similar, but cloud was more widespread across the north and west.  After a frosty start in places on the 7th it was generally bright or sunny. Morning fog over the south and east on the 8th burned away to leave a sunny, warm day across the country, and Betws-y-Coed (Clywd) recorded a temperature of 21.1 °C. The 9th was very warm and mostly sunny with 20.8 °C reached at Usk before cloud and patchy light rain spread into northern parts later.

10th to 18th

It was cooler on the 10th with patchy cloud but it stayed dry. The 11th was dry with sunny spells and it was warm inland but breezy near coasts. The 12th was cool, cloudy in the north but brighter in the south, and patchy light rain spread into the north later.  It stayed cool on the 13th with showers across northern parts but it was brighter along the coast. There was more widespread rain on the 14th with only a little sunshine and it stayed cool.  The 15th saw sunshine and just a few showers.  The 16th started dry, but turned cloudy with rain or showers for most places from late morning.  It was generally dry with some sunny intervals on the 17th but cloudy with persistent showers along the eastern border.  Most places were sunny on the 18th, but the north was a little cloudier with some rain over Anglesey. 

19th to 23rd

The 19th started bright or sunny, but cloud in the north spread southwards during the day with isolated showers. It was largely dry but cloudy on the 20th after isolated showers cleared through the morning. Dry again on the 21st but still cloudy, and rather cool in a north-westerly breeze. The 22nd was much sunnier but with a few rogue showers later across Gwynedd. The 23rd was mostly sunny, but patchy rain spread across northern parts after dark.

24th to 26th

The 24th was mostly cloudy, and increasingly showery through northern parts, with a brisk wind along the coast. The 25th was cold with sunshine and showers, the showers occasionally wintry with hail and snow.  Widespread frost to start the 26th followed by sunshine and showers which turned wintry over higher ground, although Aberdaron (Gwynedd) recorded 13.2 hours of sunshine.

27th to 30th

A cold start on the 27th with a minimum of -5.6 °C at Sennybridge (Powys), then mainly cloudy with patchy rain for much of the day.  It was cloudy with rain or showers for most parts on the 28th, drying up in the afternoon. The 29th was warmer and mostly dry, brightest across coastal Denbighshire, with occasional showers along the south-west coast. The 30th was warmer also, but rain spread north through the day, giving 19.0 mm of rain at St Athan (South Glamorgan).

Scotland diary of highlights

April started with a showery day with slackening low pressure, but high pressure soon built from the south.  It was warm until the 9th then generally cooler.  High pressure remained close by for much of the month and brought plenty of dry sunny weather to the east but it was often cloudier and wet at times in the north-west.  A northerly outbreak between the 24th and 27th brought some wintry showers and overnight frosts.

The mean temperature for April was 0.6 °C above the long-term average.  With the exception of parts of the north-west, it was a dry April, with 70% of average rainfall.  Sunshine was 95% of average, and it was sunnier than average in the south-east but cloudy in the north-west.

1st to 8th

The 1st saw sunshine and showers after a cool start for some. A frosty start in places on the 2nd was followed by a sunny day throughout for most of the country. It was breezy but quite warm on the 3rd, with some sunny intervals mainly in the east, and Cassley (Sutherland) reached 16.4°C. It was cooler on the 4th but sunny across southern parts although scattered showers affected the north-west.  Generally bright on the 5th with scattered showers clearing in the afternoon, but windy in the Northern Isles where Sella Ness (Shetland) recorded a gust of 77 mph.  The 6th was sunny in the east but cloudier with patchy rain or drizzle further west. The 7th again was brighter and drier in the east with any showers in the west. It stayed cloudy with patchy rain over the north-west on the 8th, but sunny in the north-east where Oyne (Aberdeenshire) recorded a temperature of 19.8 °C, and early cloud cover also broke up in the south leaving a sunny day.

9th to 12th

A bright start across the south on the 9th, but cloud increased across the north-west with showers then rain from early afternoon. The 10th was cooler with early sunshine, and showers turning to more prolonged rain across the north-west where Achfary (Sutherland) recorded 58.8 mm. Cool, cloudy and very wet across the north-west Highlands on the 11th with 52.4 mm of rain at Cluanie Inn (Inverness-shire). A cool but bright day followed on the 12th with widespread showers across the north-west.

13th to 16th

The 13th was cool and showery, but brighter across central southern parts. There were heavier showers on the 14th, but long spells of sunshine across the Northern Isles.  The 15th had sunshine and blustery showers, the showers wintry over the hills.  It was dry in the north-east on the 16th, but there was rain or showers elsewhere with snow over higher ground.

17th to 21st

It was bright or sunny on the 17th but showers across the east became widespread by evening.  After a cold start on the 18th, Cromdale (Moray) recording a minimum temperature of -6.2 °C, it was bright or sunny over many eastern parts but cloudy elsewhere with patchy rain.  It was generally cloudy on the 19th with scattered showers over many parts but turning drier and brighter in the afternoon. The 20th was warm and sunny in many places, with a high of 18.7 °C at Inverbervie (Aberdeenshire), but showers spread into north-western districts after dusk. The 21st saw sunshine and showers, with strong winds across the Northern Isles.

22nd to 26th

There were scattered showers on the 22nd and it was noticeably colder with maximum temperatures widely below 10 °C across northern districts. It was sunny across southern parts on the 23rd but some showers developed, occasionally wintry across the north later. Although sunny for some the 24th saw a cold northerly plunge with frequent hail and sleet showers, and snow for the Northern Isles, Aberdeenshire and Southern Uplands. The 25th was cold with sunshine and blustery snow and hail showers.  After a widespread frost to start, the 26th was a generally cloudy day with scattered showers. 

27th to 30th

It was sunny in the south on the 27th but with cloud and rain or showers for most other places.  Showers for most places on the 28th, but dry and sunny over the far north where Fair Isle (Shetland) recorded 13.3 hours of sunshine. The 29th was largely dry and warmer, and brightest over Shetland again. The 30th was dry and bright or sunny and generally warm.

Northern Ireland diary of highlights

April started with a day of sunshine and showers but then it turned mostly settled and warm with high pressure in charge, albeit often cloudy.  From the 10th onwards it was generally cooler, and there were some wintry showers from a northerly outbreak between the 24th and 26th.  The month ended mostly settled but often cloudy.

The mean temperature for April was 0.6 °C above the long-term average, mainly due to high overnight minima and few frosts.  It was a dry month with only 34% of average rainfall, making it the 4th driest April in a series from 1910, but it was also the 6th dullest April in a series from 1929 with 71% of average sunshine.

1st to 9th

The 1st was a day of sunshine and showers, after a frosty start for some. It started frosty again on the 2nd, followed by a dry day with sunny spells. It was increasingly cloudy on the 3rd with rain for all areas clearing by late afternoon. The 4th was largely dry but with only limited sunshine.  There was rain in the morning on the 5th, but it turned drier and brighter in the afternoon. The 6th was cloudy with light rain or drizzle.  It was cloudy again on the 7th but brightened up from the south in the afternoon. Morning cloud and patchy fog on the 8th burned away to leave a warm sunny day: Derrylin (County Fermanagh) recorded 17.6 °C and Aldergrove saw 12 hours of sunshine. After a sunny start on the 9th, cloud increased with patchy, mainly light rain from mid-afternoon.

10th to 20th

The 10th was colder, with early patchy rain clearing to leave brighter spells. The 11th was breezy but largely dry with sunny spells but turned increasingly cloudy in the north. Early rain cleared on the 12th leaving a cooler, cloudier day with showers developing later but mainly confined to northern districts. The 13th and 14th were showery, largely cloudy and cool days, and the rain turned more persistent for a time on the 14th.  There was sunshine and showers on the 15th.   A wet morning followed over the Province on the 16th, but the afternoon was brighter with some showers.  The 17th was bright, but saw a few showers over eastern parts. It was cloudy on the 18th, with rain in the morning and showers in the afternoon.  The 19th was overcast with patchy rain. The 20th stayed dry but remained cloudy.

21st to 26th

The 21st was cool and breezy, with scattered showers mostly across northern parts. Cool again on the 22nd with showers during the afternoon, brighter further north. Chilly again on the 23rd with sunny spells but becoming showery in the afternoon and evening. The 24th was colder, with squally showers and sunny spells, the showers turning wintry over higher ground later, and Orlock Head (County Down) recorded a gust of 52 mph. A cold bright day followed on the 25th mixed with wintry showers.  The 26th also had a mix of sunshine and showers.

27th to 30th

The 27th brought further showers again with more in the way of cloud.  Showers were more isolated on the 28th but it remained cloudy.  The 29th was brighter and drier across the north but showery elsewhere. The 30th was warmer but with patchy rain in southern areas accompanied by a strong breeze.


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