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UK breaks winter temperature record again with February high of 20.8C

People sit on rocks with their tops off as they enjoy the sunshine at Woolacombe, North Devon. Credit: PA

The UK has experienced its warmest winter day since records began for the second day running, as temperatures edged towards 21C (69.8F).

Parts of Britain on Tuesday were hotter than a series of popular holiday destinations, beating Malibu, Athens and Barcelona.

Temperatures hit 20.8C (69.4F) in Porthmadog, Gwynedd, west Wales, at 1.22pm, the Met Office said.

Meanwhile in England's capital, 20.7C (69.2F) was recorded around half an hour later in Teddington, south west London.

The previous winter record of 19.7C was set in Greenwich in 1998.

People relax on the beach in the bright sunshine at Woolacombe, North Devon as Britain could experience more record-breaking temperatures this week. Credit: PA Wire

Holidaymakers hoping to catch rays in Crete will be bitterly disappointed, with the island seeing 1.2in (300mm) of rain on Monday and a maximum temperature of 13C (55.4F) forecast for Tuesday.

The Met Office has predicted maximum temperatures of 21C (69.8F) on Tuesday in areas across the South and South East of England.

Asked if the mercury is likely to rise during the afternoon, forecaster Alex Burkill said: "I think it could do - temperatures are still climbing."

A surfer makes their way into the sea during sunrise at Boscombe beach in Dorset as Britain could experience more record-breaking temperatures this week. Credit: PA Wire

The warm weather is in stark contrast to this time last year, when the UK was swept by the "Beast from the East" which brought heavy snow showers and lows of minus 5C (23F), leading to travel delays in what were the lowest temperatures in the week leading up to March 1 since 1986.

Last year's cold weather was down to a similar weather pattern, but the high pressure instead came from Arctic Russia, moving over Scandinavia.

The conditions seen this week come from the tropic Atlantic and parts of North Africa.