What a difference a week makes

Sunset at Heacham, Norfolk
Canoeists at sunset in Heacham, Norfolk after a week of dry and sunny weather. Photo: Paul Marriott

Just a week ago May was heading towards being one of the coldest and dullest on record in the Anglia region with a good dose of rain thrown in for good measure. But in the space of 7 days that has changed.

In the first 20 days of the month the daily maximum temperature was around 13C (55F) with only three hours of sunshine per day. In sharp contrast, the past week has seen an average high of 21C (70F) along with 10 hours of bright sunshine a day. From looking like May was heading towards being the dullest on record it now looks like it'll be the dullest only since 2007.

After weeks of heavy rainfall, the Anglia region has just had its first completely dry seven-day period since June 2010. The seven weeks before last week saw a weekly average of 22 mm (nearly an inch) of rain and included the wettest April the UK has seen since records started in 1910.

May temperatures in the past week in the Anglia region have seen a sharp rise. Credit: ITV Anglia/Met Office data

Although the Anglia region had around 60 hours of sunshine in the seven days to Saturday it wasn't the sunniest week of 2012 so far; that was back at the end of March.

Despite the change to warmer and sunnier conditions there is a still a stark divide between coast and countryside. In the past five days, Cambridge had an average temperature of 24C (75F) while at Cromer on the north Norfolk coast it was just 15C (59F). At the seaside conditions were tempered by breezes off the chilly North Sea.

Sea mist at Hunstanton, Norfolk
A sea mist rolls in off The Wash at Hunstanton, Norfolk on Thursday. Credit: Paul Marriott
  • Warmest day of the week: Thursday with 26.0C at Santon Downham, Suffolk
  • Coldest night of the week: Monday night into Tuesday with 6.2C at Rothampstead near Luton.
  • Sunniest day: Saturday with 15.7 hours at Royston, Hertfordshire
  • Wettest day: no measurable rain all week

Before last week the month of May was looking like being one of the coldest on record with the least amount of sunshine and a fair amount of rain. Now temperatures are around average and depending on how much rain there is during the final few days it may end up being drier than normal. Sunshine totals have also been given a healthy boost and now stand at 122 hours between the 1st and 26th of the month.

Click here to keep up to date with the Anglia Weather forecast.

  • The coldest May on record in East Anglia was in 1941
  • The wettest May on record was in 2007 with 118 mm (4.5 inches) of rain
  • The dullest May on record was in 1932 with 116 hours of sunshine.