Record-breaking sunshine continues to beam down on locked down East Anglia

April looks set to break sunshine records across the Eastern Counties as the region remains locked away behind closed doors unable to enjoy the fine weather fully.

Never before has the month of April had such sunny conditions in the East of England since a more distant global crisis - the Second World War.

According to the Met Office, April 1942 holds the record for most sunshine with 237.8 hours of sunshine but April 2020 could be on course to beat that milestone.

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With six days of April 2020 to go, the Anglia region has already seen 216 hours of sunshine.

That amounts to an average of 9 hours of sunshine per day, which is 3½ hours per day more than normal for April.

It means that less than four hours of sunshine per day for the remainder of the month would be needed to break the record.

Sunrise at Newport Pagnell near Milton Keynes on Wednesday 22 April 2020. Credit: Adam Hefferon

The month has also been dry and warm with only 7 mm (0.3 inches) of rain up to the 24th April which is less than 20% of the normal amount.

During an average April, the Anglia region would expect to see a total of 45 mm (1.8 inches) rainfall.

Daytime maximum temperatures in the Anglia region are averaging 16°C, which is about three degrees above normal for the time of year.

The highest temperature so far reached this year in the Anglia region is 24.9°C at Little Paxton in Cambridgeshire on Easter Saturday.

Sunrise at Billingford in Norfolk on Easter Sunday taken by Alison Chamberlin on her way to work at the Norfolk & Norwich hospital. Credit: Alison Chamberlin

The sunniest April on record in East Anglia was in 1942 in the middle of the Second World War.

Until recently, 1942 also had the distinction of the sunniest April on record across the UK until it was superseded by April 2015.

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth walking in a field with their daughters, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret (right) in 1942. Credit: PA Images

Events in April 1942

  • In the House of Commons, the Chancellor’s budget raised taxes on non-essential goods like alcohol, tobacco, cosmetics and cinema tickets as the War cost the country £4 billion that year.

  • King George VI awarded the George Cross to the Island of Malta and the then Princess Elizabeth started war service as she reached the age of 16.

  • In Germany, the Reichstag, in what would be its final session, gave Adolf Hitler absolute power.

  • Barbra Streisand was born in Brooklyn, New York

  • East Anglia had its sunniest April on record