Get ready for the hottest day of the year so far as temperatures are set to hit 22C (but make the most of it because the weekend will be cold)
A '30 to 40% chance' it will be the hottest day of the year, say forecastersTemperatures peaked at 21.3C in East Malling, Kent, yesterdayNorth-south divide with temperatures as low as 10C expected in ScotlandIt will fall to 12C in London on Friday as a cold weather front moves across the country
08:00 GMT, 24 April 2013
08:00 GMT, 24 April 2013
Britain could bask in the hottest day of the year so far with temperatures set to break through the 22C barrier today, forecasters said.
But there will be a real north-south weather divide with rain expected across the Midlands and it could be as cold as 10C in Scotland.
Yesterday temperatures peaked at 21.3C in East Malling, Kent, between 5pm and 6pm, and forecasters said that could be beaten in the south-east today.
Yesterday: Although it is a weekday, the beach at Brighton was busy. However, the weather will take a turn for the worse by the weekend
Warm weather: After a cloudy start for many today (left) it could reach as high as 22C today, and similar again tomorrow. But on Friday it will be cooler with rain across the country
A Met Office spokesman said there is a '30 to 40 per cent chance' that we will see the year's hottest day.
'We are looking at highs today of 21C and maybe higher. If it goes over 22C it will be the warmest day of the year,' said Met Office forecaster Mark Wilson.
'If we do see 22C, it will be in the London area towards Kent. It will be in a similar area to where we saw the hottest day of the year so far in Manston, Kent, on April 14.
'If we don't see the warmest day of the year today, it could be tomorrow.'
But although it will be warm and sunny in the south, there will be a blanket of cloud and rain across the Midlands where temperatures will reach between 15C and 17C.
The rain will be mostly light but it will get heavier overnight.
The whole country will see cooler weather by Friday when a cold front will see temperatures fall to 12C in the London area and 7C in Scotland.
Warm weather: Miqualer Causon, aged 21 months, plays in Stanley Park, Blackpool, yesterday. Today temperatures could reach 22C in the south-east
Meanwhile, hay fever sufferers have had some good news after experts predicted a shorter hay fever season this summer.
Cold weather over recent months is thought to have delayed the release of silver birch and grass pollen.
Beverley Adams-Groom, pollen
forecaster at the National Pollen and Aerobiology Research Unit, said:
'The most important tree pollen type is silver birch which triggers hay
fever in approximately 25 per cent of sufferers.
'The cold weather of the last few
months will delay the release of birch pollen which, in an average year,
starts to be emitted from around the beginning of April in the south of
the country. This year it could be at least two weeks later.'
Hot weather: Punting on the River Cam in Cambridge on St George's Day yesterday. Today temperatures could rise even higher
Ms Adams-Groom added: 'Grass pollen affects around 95 per cent of hay fever sufferers in the UK.
'There are a number of grass species
that flower ahead of the main pollen season, often in April, such as
sweet vernal grass and foxtail. The cold weather will delay the
flowering of these types which is good news for those people who are
affected by these species. However, it's too early to predict what will
happen during the main grass pollen season.'
Yesterday, in Bournemouth, Dorset, many of the 3,500 deckchairs on the seafront had been taken up as people flocked to the coast.
Families, students and officers workers on their lunch breaks were all soaking up the sunshine.
Debbie Brown, 35, from Poole, was walking along the promenade with her children Max, four, and Charlie, two.
She said: 'Finally we have a spring!
We've had such miserable weather for what feels like forever so when I
heard the forecast this morning I almost couldn't believe it.
'I thought it best to make the most of it as it will probably turn cold again knowing this country.
'The kids have enjoyed a nice time
building sandcastles, it's such a far cry from a few weeks ago when we
were stuck inside with all the rain.'