UK weather: country records its warmest March day in 53 years – what’s the forecast for the rest of the week?

The UK has recorded its warmest March day in 53 years as temperatures rose above 24C

Today (30 March) saw glorious sunshine and unseasonably warm temperatures across most of the country, which seemed to tie in perfectly with England's easing of lockdown yesterday.

Under the new rules, groups of up to six people or two households are able to meet outdoors, and the sunshine has certainly coaxed a large number of people out of their homes to reunite with friends and family.

Sign up to our NationalWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The weather was so warm, the UK recorded its warmest March day in 53 years as temperatures rose above 24C, the Met Office said.

People enjoy the warm weather on Bournemouth beach in Dorset, as the UK has recorded its warmest March day in 53 years (Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/PA Images)

Read More

Read More
Covid rules 29 March: Full list of lockdown changes in England - including socia...

How warm was it?

Though temperatures were slightly below those seen in 1968 – 25.6C at Mepal in Cambridgeshire – in Kew Gardens in west London, the mercury hit 24.5C.

Monday was the warmest day of the year so far for England and Northern Ireland, with temperatures hitting 17.3C in the latter.

Friends enter the North Sea during sunrise at Tynemouth beach on the North East coast, at the start of what was to be England's warmest day of 2021 so far (Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire/PA Images)

The Met Office tweeted: “Temperatures have exceeded 24C in places today. This makes it provisionally the warmest March day in the UK for 53 years.”

Earlier in the day, temperatures increased by more than 20C in less than four hours in Santon Downham, west Suffolk. The village saw the mercury climb from a frosty minus 1.6C at 7am to 19C shortly before 11am.

Met Office forecaster Alex Burkill said: “It is exceptionally high for the time of year. It’s the second warmest March day on record.”

What's the forecast for the week?

Wednesday is expected to be just as warm, if not even warmer, with temperatures forecast to hit 24C again in the south and east of England.

The Met Office earlier tweeted there would be “exceptional warmth” and “massive” temperature contrasts as the month comes to a close.

Chief meteorologist Steve Ramsdale said: “The UK will see a few days of notably warm weather to end March, with a maximum of 24C. There will also be plenty of sunshine across England and Wales, however parts of Scotland will see some persistent rain over the next couple of days.

The sunny spell won’t last forever though, and from Thursday, conditions will start to change through the day as cooler air moves in from the north east.

Highs will fall to the mid-teens before falling further by Friday, especially along the east coast, but despite feeling chillier, “conditions are expected to remain dry for the majority.”

Mr Ramsdale said cold air will push across the UK by Sunday, bringing a “notable” change in temperature and the chance of strong wind and wintry showers.

Additional reporting by Press Association