1. ITV Report

April among the hottest on record but also one of the wettest

.The River Great Ouse near Ely in Cambridgeshire on 25 April 2018. Photo: John Challis

April 2018 in the Anglia region saw record-breaking temperatures but also plenty of rain and a distinct lack of sunshine.

The month overall was among the ten hottest in East Anglia since Met Office regional weather records started in 1910.

The temperature reached 28.2°C at Santon Downham in Suffolk on 19 April and across the UK that day it was the hottest April day since 1949.

In East Anglia though, temperatures on that day broke several long standing records for April.

April temperature records in East Anglia

  • Harpenden, Hertfordshire reached 26.8°C - beating the previous record of 26.1°C on 16 April 1949 (104 years of data)
  • Woburn, Bedfordshire reached 27.1°C - beating previous record of 26.1°C on 16 April 1949 (103 years of data)
  • Marham, Norfolk reached 27.2°C - beating previous record of 26.7°C on 23 April 2011 (62 years of data)
  • Wattisham, Suffolk reached 25.7°C - beating previous record of 25.6°C on 23 April 2011 (59 years of data)
  • Wittering, Cambridgeshire reached 26.3°C - beating previous record of 26.0°C on 16 April 2003 (59 years of data)
  • Sawtry, Cambridgeshire reached 27.4°C - beating previous record of 25.6°C on 23 April 2011 (52 years of data)
Bluebells at Blickling Hall on Norfolk on one of the hottest April days on record - 19 April 2018. Credit: Jo Clarke

Overall daytime maximum temperatures averaged around 14°C this month, which is about 1°C above the 30-year average.

Night-time minimum temperature were just under 7°C which is more than 1°C above average.

But despite temperatures ending up on the warm side for the month overall it was a chilly start and end to April. During the first 12 days, the thermometer sat firmly 2°C below normal making it the coldest start to April for five years.

Flooding in Bacton, Norfolk on Easter Monday - 2 April 2018 Credit: Mike Talbot

There may have been a week of summer-like temperature and sunshine but the month ended up much wetter and duller than normal.

Both rainfall and sunshine totals ending up being among the top 20 wettest and top 20 dullest Aprils on record.

The wettest place in the Anglia region was Weybourne on the north Norfolk coast which ended up with twice the usual amount of April rain with 90 mm (3.5 inches).

The lowest rainfall total was in Essex near Braintree with 53 mm (2.1 inches)

The River Nene at Thrapston in Northamptonshire on 3 April 2018. Credit: Kay Kisby
45 mm
Normal April rainfall total in the Anglia region
70 mm
Rainfall total in the Anglia region in April 2018

April last year was particularly dry with less than 15 mm (0.6 inches) of rain recorded in the Anglia region during the whole month.

In contrast, a number of places had more than on the first day of April 2018 than they had during the entire month the previous year.

Among these were Bedford, Wittering in Cambridgeshire, Wattisham in Suffolk and Harpenden in Hertfordshire.

Punts on the River Cam in Cambridge on 5 April 2018. Credit: John Challis

In an average April we can expect about 5½ hours of sunshine per day. In April 2018 we averaged just over 4 hours of sunshine per day.

Provisionally it was the dullest April for two decades.

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