UK experiences warmest winter day since records began

Enjoying the sunshine
Enjoying the sunshine

The UK has experienced its warmest winter day since records began for the second day running.

Records were broken in England and Wales, as temperatures edged towards 21C (69.8F) and Britons continued to enjoy a spell of unseasonably mild weather.

Temperatures hit 20.8C (69.4F) in Porthmadog, Gwynedd, west Wales, at 1.22pm, the Met Office said.

And 20.7C (69.2F) was recorded around half an hour later in Teddington, south-west London.

On Monday, the thermometer reached 20.6C (68.5F) at Trawsgoed in Ceredigion, West Wales, the highest recorded in February and beating the previous record of 19.7C (67.4F) in Greenwich, south-east London, in 1998.

Parts of Britain on Tuesday were hotter than a series of popular holiday destinations, beating Malibu, Athens and Barcelona.

Holidaymakers hoping to catch rays in Crete will be bitterly disappointed, with the island seeing 1.2in (300mm) of rain on Monday and a maximum temperature of 13C (55.4F) forecast for Tuesday.

The Met Office has predicted maximum temperatures of 21C (69.8F) on Tuesday in areas across the South and South East of England.

The warm weather is in stark contrast to this time last year, when the UK was swept by the "Beast from the East" which brought heavy snow showers and lows of minus 5C (23F), leading to travel delays and power cuts in what were the lowest temperatures in the week leading up to March 1 since 1986.

Last year's cold weather was down to a similar weather pattern, but the high pressure instead came from Arctic Russia, moving over Scandinavia.

The conditions seen this week come from the tropic Atlantic and parts of North Africa.

However, by Thursday the weather from the Atlantic will bring colder showers, with temperatures dropping significantly, the Met Office said.

Heavy showers are possible as temperatures will struggle to get above 11C (51.8F) or 12C (53.6F).