Spring has sprung back into life across the Anglia region after weeks of seemingly relentless cloud and rain. In the past few days temperatures in some parts have soared to 25°C (77°F) although sea breezes have kept the East coast cooler. It is a far cry from last weekend when the thermometer struggled to reach 11°C (52°F).
Up to the weekend, May 2012 in the Anglia region had been decidedly chilly with daytime highs around 3 degrees Celsius cooler than normal putting the month on course to be the coldest for 16 years.
On Wednesday the highest temperature in the Anglia region was 25.1°C at Charsfield in Suffolk, a village to the north of Ipswich. That made it the hottest day of the year so far although it is expected to be even warmer on Thursday.
Wednesday's maximum temperatures in the Anglia region:
- Moulton Park, Northampton 24.3C
- Santon Downham, Suffolk 23.7C
- Woburn, Bedfordshire 23.5C
- Wattisham, Suffolk 23.5C
- Harpenden, Hertfordshire 23.4C
- Cambridge 22.5C
- Writtle, Essex 21.5C
- Holbeach, Lincolnshire 17.7C
- Cromer, Norfolk 14.3C
The return of the sunshine is also very welcome. Up to the 20th May, the Anglia region had been averaging only three and a quarter hours of sunshine per day when six and a half hours in nearer normal for the time of year. If the cloud had persisted, May 2012 was in danger of becoming the dullest on record.
After the UK's wettest April in more than a hundred years, May was also heading the same way. However with the abrupt weather turnaround it could be that May turns out to be yet another drier than normal month which won't please those worried by the drought.
The UK basked in the hottest day of the year as temperatures reached almost 28C on Wednesday. Southampton had the highest temperature as the mercury reached a scorching 27.8C (82F).
The warm weather reached most parts of the country, with Altnaharra in the Scottish Highlands recording a maximum of 27.3C, and Heathrow Airport in London recording 27.2C. Average maximum temperatures for England in May are 14-17C, while Scotland would normally be 13-15C.
Thousands of people flocked to beaches and parks to bask in the sunshine, as conditions were hotter than many popular European destinations. Party island Ibiza was 25C (77F), Italian capital Rome 22C (72F), while Barcelona in Spain lagged behind at 21C (70F).