UK weather: Wednesday could be hottest March day on record

Spell of early spring warm weather continues after record 24.5C on Tuesday

The UK could see the hottest March day on record on Wednesday, forecasters have said, as the spell of early spring warm weather continues.

It has been particularly welcomed in Inghilterra, where temperatures have been the highest and people have just emerged blinking into the light as the nation begins to shake off a long national lockdown this week.

But people were warned not to waste all of the work done on getting the latest Covid wave under control in recent months as they enjoy their restored freedom to meet with friends and family in the sunshine.

The health secretary, Matt Hancock, has joined Boris Johnson in urging caution.

Hancock posted the tweet shortly after the prime minister said he hoped people would take advantage of the “beautiful weather” to play sport or exercise, while also emphasising the country should still “proceed with caution”.

Tuesday was the hottest March day in 53 anni, with a temperature of 24.5C at Kew Gardens in west London. The UK’s highest March temperature is 25.6C, set in 1968 at Mepal in Cambridgeshire.

Grahame Madge, a Met Office spokesperson, put the chance of that being surpassed on Wednesday at 10%, saying several factors could prevent it. “It will be rather cloudy in places, which could develop into shower clouds, taking the heat away. But certainly it should be warmer than yesterday in some areas.”

The Met Office forecaster Alex Burkhill said: “Temperatures could be a touch higher tomorrow [mercoledì] than they were today. Whether it will beat the 25.6C, I’m not so sure. It’s on a knife-edge. It’s not out of the question, but I’m not expecting it to. It’s a possibility.”

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

Burkill said: “The warmth is going to be very widespread across the bulk of England and Wales. Irlanda del Nord and many parts of Scotland will be cooler by tomorrow, so a little bit fresher.

“For most, it will be largely sunny, with a few bits of fair-weather cloud in England and Wales. In Northern Ireland and Scotland, it will be cloudier with a band of rain edging its way southwards.”

People in England and Galles have been making the most of sunny conditions after coronavirus rules were eased to allow groups to socialise in parks and gardens.

In Wales, as many as four people from two households were allowed to do so from Saturday 13 marzo. In Inghilterra, groups of six – or two households – were allowed from Monday. Outdoor sports facilities can also reopen. Scotland and Northern Ireland are due to ease restrictions in the near future.

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