Sunny April sets weather records
The past month has been the warmest April in central England since records began more than 350 years ago, weather experts have revealed.
Provisional data issued by MeteoGroup UK, the weather division of the Press Association, showed it is the fourth sunniest April recorded in the UK over the last 100 years.
A spokesman for MeteoGroup said the month was also the sixth driest April during the past century.
Although the first week of April was dominated by a strong south-westerly airflow, bringing heavy and prolonged rain to the Western Highlands, the Lake District and Snowdonia, all parts of the UK were unusually dry thereafter.
The MeteoGroup spokesman said: "There were some cooler and cloudier days during the second week, but it was exceptionally warm and sunny between the 16th and 25th."
Mean maximum temperatures for April ranged from 19.8C (68F) at St James's Park in London to 9.8C (50F) at Fair Isle in Scotland, and the mean minimum temperature was at least 3.5c above the long-term average in all regions.
The average temperature recorded in central England - 11.9C (53F) - was 3.9C above the long-term mean and was the highest for April since records began 353 years ago.
Meanwhile, the highest temperature recorded at a standard site was 27.8C (82F) at Wisley in Surrey on St George's Day - the highest April temperature anywhere in the UK since 1949.
The lowest temperature was minus 5.4C (22F) at Lochaber in Scotland on April 26, while the lowest daytime maximum was 6.5C (44F) at Warcop in Cumbria on April 13.