Is coronavirus to blame for the sunniest spring on record?

Is coronavirus to blame for the sunniest spring on record? Credit: Chris Page

ITV Meteorologist Chris Page explains whether the record-breaker is thanks to the global pandemic

I have had a lot of interest and questions relating to whether the coronavirus lockdown has been to blame (or thank - depending on how you look at it) for the sunniest spring in UK history.

In fact, looking at just England as a whole, spring 2020 was more than 100 hours sunnier than its predecessor, Spring 1948.

So it certainly has smashed the record by a country mile.

The question is, is this due to the marked reduction in atmospheric pollution because of the global pandemic and lockdown restrictions?

England Spring Records Credit: Met Office

The simple and quick answer to this is no.

We've been very lucky to have days and days of endless blue sky and sunshine over the past few months, has had nothing to do with the reduction in aerosols and emissions.

It has been primarily due to high-pressure systems and the driving force of these - the jet stream which has steered clear of the UK.

More of a pot luck scenario than a reduction in emissions.

However, it is important to note, the sunshine and very dry weather has not been good news for everyone.

Our gardens and farmers are thirsting for a drop of water and without it, it's likely to make for a very difficult and challenging summer growing season ahead.

As I write this, I am pleased to let you know, rain is not the horizon, and in fact, as I look out the window now, the skies look ominous.

What's more of a concern is the swing from one of the wettest winters on record, to one of the driest springs and certainly the sunniest spring.

Very likely more signs of how our UK climate is changing - from one extreme to the next.

Dry fields - Essex Credit: Steve Dixon