Will the wet weather continue or are April showers a thing of the past?

What kind of weather will April have in store? Credit: PA

After a thoroughly disappointing March, with far more dull and rainy days than usual, we are all rooting for a sunnier, drier April.

The glitch is April is the only month of the year with an associated weather type: April showers.

It’s a term widely recognised from being immortalised in a Disney film - “drip, drip, drop, little April shower” in the 1942 classic Bambi - to the memorable phrase “April showers bring May flowers” dating back to a poem from the 1800s. Historians believe a longer version of the line dates back to 1610.

Yet recent history appears to challenge the traditional saying.

Why do we have April showers?

April is not known as a particularly wet month - but is known for showers.

It’s the first month of the year when the sun has enough strength to heat up the land relative to the sea.

The sun will heat up the land more in April. Credit: PA

This contrast in temperature encourages instability up in the atmosphere and showers (and longer downpours) develop.

Our ancestors noticed after early sunshine there would often be afternoon showers.

As an island with long coastlines and hence more sea and land temperature differences, the chance of showers increases.

Why have we seen fewer April showers in recent years?

In 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 we had drier than usual Aprils.

That's because as high pressure took control of our weather pattern it prevented the upper air atmosphere instability and in turn April showers were reduced.

You may remember the first lockdown in Spring 2020 with endless dry, sunny days and unbroken blue skies.

So what’s the forecast this year as Easter approaches?

This year - at this stage - it’s looking like our weather is set to fall into a similar weather pattern to recent Aprils.

High pressure is expected to redevelop, giving some favourable dry, settled weather and much-awaited spring sunshine as we approach the Easter weekend.

Details will become clearer in the coming days.

Beyond this though a more traditional April scenario is more likely, with the return of hit and miss showers.

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