April will have showers – but sunshine too
APRIL is meant to bring showers, so on that front we have been forewarned. But what about the persistent gloom of late? It has been pretty grey since Easter, save for bursts of brilliant sunshine in the Scottish Highlands. Finally, though, the clouds are set to lift and reveal a ceiling of blue sky, giving us, belatedly, a real feel of spring.
It began to happen yesterday, and today the improvement continues. The high pressure out to our east is blowing in warm, settled air from over continental Europe, where the land mass warms faster than the seas that surround us. Norwich and London should comfortably touch 63F (17C).
But over in the far west, low pressure is trying to make its presence felt as it heads in from the Atlantic. It will bring windy conditions to the north of Ireland, with gusts of up to 50mph, and push down the mercury – just 54F (12C) in Belfast and in Plymouth, too, in the south-western corner of England. Everywhere will still be bothered by the odd April shower, but later in the day there could be heavy downpours in Wales.
And as we all get back to work and school on Monday, the sunshine will come in ever-larger helpings on that warm wind from the south and east. By Wednesday, the south of England could hit 75F (24C), and this spring warmth will be shared all across the country, with Scotland nudging up to 66F (19C). It will only be later in the week that the lows off to the west and south-west will manage to make any progress in dislodging the settled, sunny conditions.
Gloom may be depressing, but at least it doesn’t do physical damage. Thunderstorms are another matter, and sometimes they strike at humankind’s best efforts at leaving a mark on the planet. In the northern India city of Agra this past week, thunder, lightning and winds of 80mph toppled two 12-foot minarets at the gates to the world-famous Taj Mahal.
A picnic in Bath, where temperatures have risen over the past few days