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Sunny April smashes UK record

The UK basked in the sunniest April on record this year, the Met Office said.

The country enjoyed an average 212 hours of sunshine last month, provisional figures showed, making it the sunniest April in records dating back to 1929 and beating the previous record set in April 1942 by seven hours.

Some longer running weather observation stations also saw record sunshine, such as Morpeth, Northumberland, which had the sunniest April in a 110-year recording history, with 265 hours of sunshine or nearly nine hours a day, almost double the average.

Across the country, large areas saw well above average amounts of sunshine for the month.

Last month was also "notably dry", the Met Office said, particularly in southern parts of the UK, where many areas only received a third to a half of average rainfall for April, and some places had less than a fifth of the rain they would normally expect.

Daytime temperatures were well above average in many areas, particularly the south, and the highest temperature of the year so far was recorded in Faversham, Kent, which enjoyed temperatures of 25.6C (78F) on April 15.

This was the highest temperature any place in the UK has experienced in April since 2011, the weather experts said.

But overall, temperatures were only just above average as warm days were evened out by cold nights, and there were some sharp frosts, with the mercury plunging to minus 8C (17.6F) at Katesbridge, County Down, Northern Ireland, on April 27.

The Met Office said: "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."

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