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Britain sizzles in record sunshine

Britain sizzled as the country enjoyed the warmest April 6 on record.

The mercury peaked at 23.9C on Wednesday afternoon making it hotter than some parts of the Mediterranean.

Santon Downham in Norfolk was the hottest spot, making it warmer than Malta, Athens and Barcelona.

Norfolk was hotter than the whole of Greece, according to Julian Mayes, senior forecaster for MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association.

It was the warmest day of the year so far by almost 4C. Normally chilly Aberdeenshire in Scotland managed 21C while most of East Anglia and the Midlands enjoyed sunshine and sizzling temperatures.

The second hottest spot in the country was the Olympic Park in east London which peaked at 23.7C while workers made progress building the site.

However, in western Scotland people were deluged with extremely heavy downpours.

The previous highest temperature in the UK on this date was 23.3C (73.9F) in Southampton in 1892.

The blazing heat is a stark contrast to April 6, 2008, when most of southern England was covered in snow. Some parts saw up to 10cm of snowfall while in Kent the top temperature was 2C.

April usually struggles to get above 12C (54F) but after the driest March in more than a century, temperatures have shot up, meteorologists said.

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