Britain set for weekend sunshine
Britain looks set to bask in sunshine this weekend as temperatures top those of many European destinations.
London is expected to be warmer than Madrid, Rome and Athens as much of the UK enjoys balmy weather. Matt Dobson, meteorologist at MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said even parts of western Scotland could be treated to sunny weather.
"Saturday is looking like the warmest day of the weekend, with the highest temperatures in west London and across the M4 corridor towards Bristol. We are looking at 19 or 20C, possibly 21C," he said. "In the North, temperatures in Cumbria could get to 18C and western Scotland could get to 16C."
He added: "While we are expecting 20 to 21C here, it will be 20C in Madrid, and 19 to 20C in Rome and Athens so it will be warmer than most of the Med destinations."
However, not all of the country will be so lucky with the weather, Mr Dobson said. He said: "It will be much cooler in eastern parts of Suffolk and the North Sea coast with temperatures between eight and ten degrees. On Sunday north and west Devon, west Wales and Cornwall, will have the best of the weather at a degree cooler than the day before and 16 or 17C in London."
On Wednesday the temperature topped 20C for the first time in the United Kingdom this year. A temperature of 20.1C was recorded at Otterbourne, Hampshire, a few days before the start of British Summer Time on Sunday.
Mr Dobson said it looked like it could have been the hottest March 22 on record, adding: "This time of year the average in London is 12C so if you are getting 20C that is quite impressive.
"Today's (Friday) weather is fairly similar to yesterday. There's a lot of fog this morning which is dense in places and central eastern England has a miserable start but the sun will burn through in central and southern areas with 21C in London today.
"Elsewhere in the Midlands, East Anglia and the South we could see 19C and possibly 20C, a degree or so warmer than yesterday. It will be cloudy in Scotland and not so warm in northern areas, it's the South that's fairing better."
Michael Lawrence, forecaster at the Met Office, said the good weather is set to continue past the weekend. He added: "The near outlook looks to be high pressure near and over the UK for much of the next five to seven days with frost still possible but less likely. It is a bit early to call it summer though, these are similar conditions to last April."