Third sunniest April for 100 years in UK

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The Independent Online

This April was the third sunniest for 100 years, it was announced today.

A long, dry spell in the middle of the month helped push April 2010 up the record tables and banish memories of the freezing winter.

Temperatures crept above 20C on occasion and led to the month becoming the third sunniest April after 1984 and 2007.

There was an average of 222 hours of sunshine for England and Wales over the entire month, representing 142% of the 1971-2000 mean.

The equivalent figures for Scotland were 164 hours representing 110% and Northern Ireland's figures were 183 hours, represented 114%.

Jersey airport in the Channel Islands saw the most sun with a monthly average of 273 hours, but Kirkwall in Orkney saw only 112 hours of sunny weather.

Swanscombe in Kent was the UK hotspot, recording a temperature of 22.1C on the 28th.

Braemar in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, recorded the chilliest temperature with the mercury plummeting to minus 7C overnight on the 1st and 2nd.

Forecaster Philip Eden said: "Although the first few days were changeable and rather cold, and the last few days were changeable and rather warm, the centrepiece of April's weather was a long period of dry and sunny weather with high pressure in charge."

But, true to form, the fine weather has come to an end just in time for the May bank holiday weekend.

Temperatures will drop and many places will see rain.

Billy Payne, forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, explained: "The weather for the bank holiday is not going to be especially pleasant; on the whole it's going to be chilly and wet.

"Tomorrow is looking quite unsettled with showers developing, particularly across the South and West, they will be quite heavy in some areas with spots of thunder.

"There will be showers later in the North and it will be colder although it will brighten up across Scotland later in the day.

There will be heavy rain on Saturday night and Sunday morning across Wales and the Midlands before turning mostly dry.

"Sunday looks quite cold and breezy, with wintery showers over the Scottish mountains.

"There will be more showers in many places again on Monday.

Temperatures are expected to range from 8-10C in the South and 7-10C in the North.

Election week doesn't look like faring any better with cold and unsettled weather forecast.