THE UK is hotter than Athens as a blast of sunshine makes for balmy conditions – but Brits are braced for snow next week as an Arctic blast sends temperatures plunging.
Glorious spring weather has seen the UK turning hotter than Athens in a hot spell set to run into tomorrow.
Britain is set for weather hotter than Athens for the next day or so as the temperature soars to 17C[/caption]
Yesterday, temperatures reached 16.6C in Cardiff, with Thursday predicted to be “sunnier and warmer for many”.
But the spring sunshine won’t last for long, as the jet stream pushes southwards over the coming days, bringing rain over the weekend.
Temperatures in London hit 17C, making it considerably warmer that the Greek capital Athens – which had highs of 14C.
Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge described places such as Hereford as “favoured”, with temperatures that could “possibly even be 19C tomorrow”.
He said there will be sunny spells from eastern Scotland to northern England, in Wales and the South West.
However, where the clouds sticks around, such as in north-west Scotland, it may only be about 11-12C.
The sunshine may not last though, as Britain is set to be hit by snow and rain this weekend due to an Arctic blast.
The UK is also set to expect gales reaching speeds of 40mph in Scotland and Northern Ireland, as well as slightly slower winds in England.
Temperatures will hover in the high single figures, but could remain around 11C in the southwest.
A Met Office forecast said: “Next week will be off to a chilly but mainly fine start on Monday, though it will gradually become more changeable through the week.
“There will be rain and strong winds at times, mainly in the northwest of the UK, where gales are likely.
“Some rain is possible in the south too, but there will be more in the way of dry weather.
“The unsettled weather is likely to continue into mid April.”
Colder air will also feed in, with temperatures dropping to around the 10C mark.
And by Tuesday next week snow will sweep across from the Atlantic, hitting Northern Scotland and settling in the hills.
The snow will then head down the east coast of England before blowing across the channel, according to forecasting graphs.
The combination of heavy showers and a dip in temperatures will create a stormy and unsettled start to April.
The Met Office warned: “Whilst the clocks go forward this weekend, temperatures will fall back!”
A high weather pressure system currently sitting over the country at the moment is bringing settled and warmer air.
But as the system moves away on Saturday, Sunday will be “transition day” as Arctic air blows in, sweeping in spells of heavy rain and cooler temperatures.
Weather maps show thunderstorms will strike south eastern parts of the country, including London, with isolated storms in Cornwall and the northern tips of Scotland.
A forecaster told The Sun Online that “April showers” were expected.
“Next week will feel rather unsettled and colder,” they said. “There will be a chance of overnight frost with heavy outbreaks of rain”.
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‘HEATWAVE’ ON THE HORIZON
But things could get hotter in the second half of April with temperatures hitting 26C as plumes of warm air travel northwards from Africa.
The Weather Outlook’s Brian Gaze added: “With computer models strongly favouring a warm spring, there is potential for the record for the hottest spring to be challenged.
“Highs of 26C are likely in April. Plumes of warm air from Africa are expected.
“And there is an increased chance of a hot and settled summer due to the trend for more high pressure, which brings hot conditions in summer.”
‘HOTTEST SPRING’ ODDS
The three-month outlook from the Met Office says: “For March-April-May as a whole, above-average temperatures are more likely than below-average temperatures.”
The average temperature for April is 11.5C although the highest ever April temperature in the UK hit 29.4C on April 16, 1949 in London’s Camden Square.
Bookies have already dropped the odds on it being the “hottest spring ever”.
Coral has slashed its odds for the UK from 4/1 to 5/1.
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It has also given odds of 2/1 for next month being the warmest April ever.
The bookmaker also thinks this summer will also be the hottest since records began.
The warm weather comes just a week after flooding blighted the north, with heavy rainfall and high river levels in the Midlands and northern England.
Visitors to the seaside resort of Lyme Regis in Dorset on the beach and seafront enjoying another day of clear skies and hot spring sunshine[/caption]
Gardner Rob Ternent, 31, pushes his wheelbarrow through a sea of daffodils at Alnwick Castle[/caption]
A mum paddles with her son in tow in the sea at Exmouth in Devon as the warm and sunny weather continues[/caption]