South basks on hottest day of the year

The South is set to bask in the highest temperatures of the year so far today- up to 18C in some places

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Fun in the sun in Brighton on warmest day

Many headed to the beach in Brighton for the warmest day of the year so far Credit: Press Association Images
Friends enjoy the sunshine on the beach in Brighton Credit: Press Association Images
A jet skier takes a trip out on the water off Brighton beach Credit: Press Association Images

Viewers' pictures: Warmest day of the year

Swanage Credit: Robin Boultwood

Thank you to everyone who sent in photos today of the south bathed in sunlight. Here's a few of them.

Peacock butterfly in Basingstoke Credit: Bob Hale
Brighton beach Credit: Tom Savvides
Sunlight in the New Forest Credit: Tim Herbert

Fresh appeals for cliff collapse visitors to stay away

A series of cliff collapses at Birling Gap in East Sussex has prompted a warning to visitors to keep away from the edge.

More tourists are expected this weekend because of the warm weather and the hope of seeing further erosion.

On Tuesday, the high tide caused a severe fall in the cliffs after a 30ft crack appeared, with a row of cottages ending up closer to the edge.

The cliffs have suffered seven years' worth of erosion, since January.

As Andrea Thomas's report from earlier this week shows, it's a magnet for sightseers.

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Warmer than the "Med" after wettest winter on record

Enjoying the sun in Brighton Credit: PA

The South is set to bask in the highest temperatures of the year so far today - warmer than some holiday spots in the Mediterranean

Temperatures will reach 18C (64.4F) making it "exceptionally mild" for the time of year and warmer than parts of Greece and Turkey, according to the Met Office.

And after the wettest winter on record in England and Wales, the rain is also set to stay away in the coming days due to a band of high pressure.

On average, temperatures in mid-March are only around 12C (53.6F) but a yearly high of 16.9C (62.4F) was recorded at Heathrow Airport on Friday.

Blue skies in the New Forest Credit: Cary Johnson

On average, temperatures in mid-March are only around 12C (53.6F) but a yearly high of 16.9C (62.4F) was recorded at Heathrow Airport on Friday.

Those looking to enjoy the sunshine have been warned to stay away from one tourist hotspot in East Sussex.

Birling Gap in Sussex Credit: PA
Erosion at Birling Gap Credit: PA

The cliff edge at Birling Gap has undergone a series of collapses after recent bad weather, and tourists hoping to catch a glimpse of further erosion have been told to exercise caution after two people had to be rescued when they were cut off by the incoming tide earlier in the week.

A resident inspects the damage Credit: PA

A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: "Some sections of the coast are particularly vulnerable to cliff falls and landslips. We are advising the public to take great care when walking on cliff paths or along beaches"

Early strawberries Credit: PA

The unseasonally balmy conditions have already forced some British supermarkets into getting strawberries on to their shelves early. A spokesman for Waitrose said: "While the wet weather has caused havoc for many, milder temperatures have resulted in an earlier harvest than usual.

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