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April 2015, the sunniest on record

Provisional figures show that April 2015 has been the sunniest in Met Office UK records dating back to 1929.

The UK saw on average 212 hours of sunshine in April, seven hours more than the previous record set in 1942, and continued the run of sunny months since last December.

Several long-running observing stations recorded their sunniest April on record, including Morpeth (Northumberland) which had its sunniest April in its 110-year recording history with 265 hours (nearly nine hours per day), almost double the April average.

April 2015 sunshine percentage of 1981-2010 average

It was also a notably dry month, particularly across the southern half of the UK with only a third to a half of normal rainfall quite widely and less than 20% in some places.

Mean temperatures were just above average with warm days being balanced by cold nights. Daytime temperatures were well above average in many areas, especially in the south, with the year's highest temperature so far, 25.6 °C, recorded at Faversham (Kent) on the afternoon of the 15th. This was the highest April temperature anywhere in the UK since 2011. However there were also some sharp frosts, especially on the 27th when -8.0 °C was recorded at Katesbridge (County Down).

Provisional Met Office statistics April 2015

Mean temperature (°C)

Sunshine (hrs)

Rainfall (mm)

ActualDifference from 81-10 averageActual% of 81-10 averageActual% of 81-10 average
UK7.90.521214346.364
England8.90.722214326.345
Wales8.40.822214436.341
Scotland6.30.219514479.587
Northern Ireland7.60.121014327.779

High pressure dominated the weather for much of April, bringing fine, dry, settled conditions, particularly across the southern half of the UK. Scotland also had some fine, sunny weather but towards the end of the month a cooler more unsettled north-westerly airflow developed bringing rain or showers at times, and some snow across the Scottish mountains.

April weather extremes

Data from the Met Office's UK digitised records date back to 1910. You can explore more Climate summaries.

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