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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 April, 2003, 15:18 GMT 16:18 UK
UK set for hot spell
Brighton Beach
Sunseekers flocked to Brighton Beach
Temperatures across large parts of the UK on Wednesday are expected to top 26C (77F).

From the north of England, through Wales and down to London, will be bathed in almost uninterrupted sunshine.

But temperatures are expected to fall by a few degrees by the end of the week, leaving the Easter weekend slightly cooler.

The seasonal norm in England and Wales for late April is around 9C.

But in the next couple of days, temperatures will climb to 25C (75F) and possibly 26C.

Coast cooler

BBC forecaster Philip Avery says the key is to stay inland to enjoy the best of the weather.

"On the coast onshore breezes will make it a little cooler," he said. "But even there, temperatures will be above average for the time of year."

There will be a lot of dry, fine weather for Easter
Philip Avery
BBC Weather Centre

Cities in the Midlands, south Wales and the south east of England, including London, are expected to feel the hottest.

In Scotland and Northern Ireland it will be a degree or two cooler, but still sunny and warm.

The hot spell is unlikely to last for the whole of the Easter weekend.

Temperatures are likely to drop by a couple of degrees on Thursday and Friday, leaving Saturday and Sunday cooler but still with widespread sunshine.

"It could be around 20 to 21C (70F) at the weekend - not bad when the average for this time of year is 8 to 10C," said Mr Avery.

"There will be a lot of dry, fine weather."

Just last Thursday, England was hit by snow showers and freezing temperatures.

UK 'close to record warmth'
17 Dec 02  |  Science/Nature
Winter's 'last gasp' brings snow
10 Apr 03  |  London
Fire-hit area to reopen at Easter
22 Jan 03  |  Scotland


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