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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 April 2007, 17:01 GMT 18:01 UK
Weekend could bring heat record
By Lynda Hanlon
BBC Weather Centre

This may seem like a well-worn phrase, but this Saturday could see yet another temperature record broken if, as predicted for some parts, the thermometer hits 25C (77F).

Holidaymakers on Sennen beach, Cornwall
The warm Easter bank holiday saw crowds head to the UK's beaches

This would represent the highest temperature recorded on 14 April in the UK and would be a whopping 12C higher than we should expect at this time of year.

You could be forgiven for thinking we have skipped forward to June.

So what's going on?

It is hardly news that we had an exceptionally mild winter. This was down to the air masses arriving on our shores from the sub-tropics.

This moisture-laden warm air kept the temperatures and the reservoir levels up.

We didn't get any real extended periods of cold weather, so, putting it simply, the ground never got a chance to cool off.

Blue skies

Winter in the UK was 1.85C warmer on average than we would expect. This may not seem like a lot, but it is having a big impact. Eastern Europe was warmer by 3C to 5C.

The long-term forecast suggests... a 12% chance of a repeat of the summers of 2003 and 2006

So what's the summer shaping up like?

Long-term forecasting is always inherently difficult, but the long, hot, blue-sky summers of your childhood may not seem so distant.

The last average summer was in 2000 and very few of us can forget the searing summers of 2003 and 2006.

The Met Office identifies that average air temperatures in the UK have increased by 1C, which is twice the global average.

North Sea air

As a consequence, all our seasons are warmer than the 1971-2000 average, increasing the chances of an exceptionally warm summer similar to those of 2003 and 2006.

The long-term forecast suggests there is a 70% chance of temperatures being higher than average and a 12% chance of a repeat of the summers of 2003 and 2006.

Back to the potential for record-breaking temperatures this weekend - a word of warning.

If you're on the east coast, north of The Wash, you might be left wondering what all the fuss is about.

If the air over the North Sea is pulled on land it will feel cold.


SEE ALSO
Sunny weather lifts UK retailers
10 Apr 07 |  Business
Winter 'second warmest on record'
27 Feb 07 |  Science/Nature
2006 sets British heat records
14 Dec 06 |  Science/Nature
2007 to be 'warmest on record'
04 Jan 07 |  Science/Nature

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