In Brief

Will this be the UK’s hottest February on record?

Record-breaking temperature recorded in west Wales as balmy weather continues

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Mercury levels surpassed 20C in the UK today for the first time ever in winter.

The Met Office says temperatures reached 20.3C in Trawsgoed, Ceredigion, west Wales, making it the UK’s warmest February day on record. The previous February record was 19.7C, recorded in Greenwich in 1998, while the previous Welsh record was 18.6C, set 29 years ago in the southern village of Velindre.

The February record in Scotland – 17.9C in the Aberdeenshire village of Aboyne in 1896 – was equalled last Thursday.

According to the Met Office, the current temperatures are 10C higher than usual for this time of year, although rain and cloud are expected later in the week.

Met Office chief meteorologist Steve Willington said: “Northwestern parts of the UK will be wet and windy at times this week, but settled conditions will spread to all parts of the country by the weekend, bringing plenty of sunshine and unseasonably mild temperatures that could well compete with current February temperature records.”

Bookmaker Coral is offering 4/6 odds on February being the hottest one yet, and 6/4 odds on the mercury hitting 25°C or higher next week. The warmest month of February was in 1998, with an average of 10.7C.

Changes in the direction our air is coming from have been cited as the reason for this month’s soaring temperatures. 

“High pressure parked to the southeast of the British Isles has been dragging warm air from Africa and the Canary Islands our way,” explains the BBC.

“Temperatures are further boosted by something known as the foehn effect, when air warms as it flows down the lee side of mountains. All of this combined with the sunshine has produced something quite remarkable for February.”

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