April 2021 on track to be frostiest for 60 years
April 2021 is on track to be the frostiest in the UK for 60 years as continuing clear skies keep temperatures low overnight.
An average of 13 days of air frosts has already been reported across the country, topping the 11 days seen in April 1970, according to provisional figures from the Met Office.
Across the four nations, England has reported 12 days and Wales 11 days.
Scotland has reported 16 days, making it the frostiest April since records began in 1960.
Northern Ireland has currently seen eight days of frost, not yet exceeding its current record of 11 days set in April 1983.
It comes after several days of clear skies and sunshine across the UK, with double-digit daytime temperatures felt across large parts of the country.
The peak daytime temperature was felt last week in Porthmadog, Wales, where the mercury reached a maximum of 20.8C on Friday.
But clear skies mean that chillier nights and more frosts are expected to continue as the month comes to a close.
Annie Shuttleworth, meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “We’ve seen high pressure dominating for the last few weeks which is why we’ve had the drier weather and less cloud.
“Clearer skies mean temperatures can cool off more readily overnight when there’s no sun but in the day clearer skies can act to warm up the daytime temperatures.”
Average overnight temperatures have been hovering around freezing at 0.4C (32.7F), which is three degrees lower than the UK average for April – at 3.4C (38.1F).
The maximum daytime temperature has also been slightly lower than average at 11.4C (52.3F), compared with 12C (53.6F) which is normal for April.
Ms Shuttleworth said that sunny spells would still feature in the coming days, but parts of the country would also see showers, and overnight temperatures would stay low.
The weekend weather was set to maintain the trend of what has been one of the driest Aprils on record, with the UK seeing less than a fifth of the average rainfall for the month so far.
Up to April 22, there had been an average of 12.8mm of rain across the UK, much lower than the April average of 72.53mm, according to Met Office figures.
A typical April in the UK would have had 70% of its rainfall by now, but it instead has just had 18%.
But Ms Shuttleworth said rain in the coming days could drive up averages.
“You could get some rain over the next couple of days that will bring the totals up,” she said.
“It has been a very dry April, with quite a few areas of the UK seeing quite a small margin of their average April rainfall.
“Some counties may see their lowest April rainfall but it won’t be a UK-wide thing.”