Easter weather - snow, heatwave or something in between?
Blog by Jo Farrow
Issued: 27th February 2021 13:57
Updated: 28th February 2021 09:02

Easter weather - snow, heatwave or something in between?

Easter holidays; no great escape or firm plans there. A break from working from home, remote learning but those children who did make it back into school will be around the house all over again. There is talk of 'Staycations' but we’ve done staying at home for eons. And even the idea of staying in the UK in a cottage or caravan rather than venturing abroad is still tricky and restricted. It feels like another holiday period will be passing us by as we try to muster the enthusiasm to think of local trips or outdoor entertainments, creating an illusion that the break is different. There will be more daylight than at February half term and hopefully some warmth and sunshine but Easter can be really fickle in the weather stakes. And that is why people often head to foreign climes.

Easter falls quite early this year on April 4th, so not the very rare March 22nd or the latest possible date of April 25th. UK Easter statistics need to be viewed with all this in mind. It’s not the same as the rigid three-month meteorological seasons where winter is defined as Dec/Jan/Feb and spring Mar/Apr/May, this is truly a moveable feast.

There is the old chestnut that it is more likely to snow here in the UK at Easter than it is at Christmas, another reason why people book an overseas holiday in more normal times. However, that does not mean that it WILL snow at Easter.

The UK Met Office is not saying it will snow at Easter at this stage, no one should be saying anything definite this early on. We can look at climatic trends. Certain newspapers only seem to deal with extreme weather for Christmas, Easter and Bank Holiday weekends and wild fluctuations either way at weekly intervals. Keep that in mind. We await the heatwave Easter special next.

Average temperatures across the UK are shown below. They leap up later in the month but for the early April Easter, they will more likely, on average, to be around 9 to 12C by day and still prone to nippy nights with a coolness in the air once the sun goes down.

APRIL Max Temp C Min Temp C Days of rain
London 14.4 4.7 9.1
Edinburgh 11.8 4.3 8.8
Cardiff 13.8 5.2 11.1
Birmingham 12.8 4.2 10.7
Belfast 12.4 4.7 11.4

However, the UK, and England, record for April is 29.4C in London back in 1949 on the 16th  in Camden but there are some reservations about this figure. In 2018, St James’s Park, London reached 29.1C on the 19th, so not far off. Wales has reached 26.2C in 2003, Scotland 27.2C also in 2003 and Northern Ireland 24.5C in 1984. Even the end of March can reach into the mid 20sC but it can be cold.

The minimum for Scotland in April reach down to -15.4C in early April 1917 for Dumfriesshire and by day Aprils Fools day stayed at -1.1C in Cheshire and Durham that year. Not much fun for a local trip out with a frost day.

Thinking back to last April, it was exceptionally dry. Remember lockdown 1 when it was dry and sunny and warm, we stayed at home, all naïve to what was to follow. The weather really got stuck last spring with the UK seeing fine weather. It could equally get stuck with a bombardment of Atlantic low which would bring the unsettled wet and windy spells with cooler conditions or even at times wintry weather.

Easter UK weather and eggs

April is known for its showers so unsettled conditions which change quickly from bright sunshine to downpours sometimes with blustery winds. This adds more uncertainty to day-out plans. Showers can be forecast but just miss your location, or you get stuck under a line or cluster and see some pretty wet weather. They also affect the temperature. At this time of year, it can feel pleasantly warm, in the sunshine with some shelter. However as the showers move in and gusty winds pick up, the sun can disappear and the precipitation will lower the air temperature. That might be rain, hail or even snow. Northwesterly winds can still bring sleet and snow, particularly over the hills.

It’s too early for a forecast for Easter Weekend nor the following holiday fortnight. It can really vary, so any plans might need weatherproofing once you’ve worked out the COVID rules bit.

Tags: UK Weather  Outdoors

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