12th April - Today's News: Scottish Highlands Record Britain's First 20c of 2010

Spring is in the air ..... yesterday saw the first 20c recorded in Britain this year. Interestingly though, it was only sites in Northern Ireland and the Scottish Highlands - nowhere in England and Wales, nor low level Scotland, has reached 20c as yet. Not often that happens, though such temperatures in the Highlands in April are by no means unusual. Officially 20.4c at Castlederg, NI, is the highest figure although it's reported that Cromdale in the East Highlands may have reached 22.1c. What a day for all those lucky to be on the hill under clear skies and with loads of hard neve at higher level!!! Am I jealous? P*ssed off? You bet!

Scotland basks in sunshine - what a difference eleven days makes!

Meanwhile, bookies cut odds on record summer.

Still, not quite so warm here as it is in India, which also saw it's highest temperatures so far this year as heatwave sweeps north India, Bengal; Ganganagar hottest at 44.8c

However, in Australia, Melbourne's record warm run set to end

Brazil flood death toll rises to 224

In parts of the US, unusual climate patterns spike pollen levels

Britain's weather patterns are changing - just ask the Eskimos - I think the journalist misunderstands this a little when he comments on the MetO no longer issuing public seasonal forecasts. What's being suggested (and there may well be evidence to support it) is that when we in Britain get into a particular weather pattern (say, high pressure blocking to the north of the UK) then it tends to persist much longer than it did in the past. Thus if we start with cold weather in winter, we continue with it. This however does not help with longer term forecasting - if an Azores high persists this summer it'll be a longer heatwave, but just as likely is a more southerly tracking jet bringing the wetter, colder weather of recent years. Anyway, lots of scope there for more research!

Also from the Telegraph, and on a less serious note, is this the best weather forecast in the world? Not sure whether the MetO in Britain advising us on what type of coat to wear today would quite go down with the British public!

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