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Capn_Birdseye
February 11th, 2008, 01:46 PM
Britain basks in February sunshine as temperatures hit TWICE seasonal average

By BEN CLERKIN - Last updated at 11:58am on 11th February 2008

Spring blew us a warm little kiss yesterday - and hundreds dashed outside to catch it on their cheeks.

Daytrippers and dog walkers made the most of the sunshine as temperatures soared to double the seasonal average.

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A girl reading a book as she enjoyed yesterday's weather in Wimbledon Park
A high of 15c (59f) was recorded in Kew Gardens, South West London, far above the usual 8c (46f) expected. Saturday's high was even better at 17c (63f).

It was judged to be perfect sandcastle weather at Brighton, despite winter still having a few weeks to run. Several surfers even braved the chilly North Sea at Tynemouth beach, Tyne and Wear.

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Spring has sprung: Daffodils are already in full bloom in St James's Park, London

There was a brisk trade in punt hire on the River Cam in Cambridge as visitors seized the early opportunity to see the historic city from the water.

Youngsters collected frogspawn from large puddles left after heavy rain in the New Forest, where the high temperatures have fooled frogs into laying early.

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Surfers braved the chilly North Sea on Tynemouth beach

And spring flowers such as daffodils and snowdrops showed off their petals across the country.

Forecaster Brendan Jones, of MeteoGroup, described the temperatures as "very unusual". "We are enjoying some high pressure at the moment which is bringing with it some very settled weather," he said.

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Children playing in the sand as they make the most of the fine weather

"But it is very unusual for it to be quite this warm. On Saturday it was even hotter with temperatures reaching almost 17c (63f) - the hottest day of the year so far.

"We would expect temperatures of around 8c (46f) for February. But usually if it is so clear and sunny at this time of year it will be chilly. That is not the case today."

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Young girls enjoying the glorious weather in a Southampton park

He said that the warm air had come across from France and the mid-Atlantic.

He predicted similar weather for Monday and Tuesday, with cloudy conditions and a return to more common temperatures by the end of the week. He said it would stay dry until the weekend.

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A young girl enjoying the blossoming flowers in Cambridge

The burst of sunshine comes just days after one of Britain's most respected horticultural experts proposed moving the seasons by bringing forward the official start of spring.

Dr Nigel Taylor, curator of Kew Gardens, called for the move after seeing the changes on his daily rounds.

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Visitors to Cambridge enjoy a punt down the River Cam

"There is no winter any more," he said. "Despite a cold snap before Christmas, it is nothing like years ago.

"Last year was extraordinary, spring was in January, April was summer, the summer was cool and then it was warmer and sunny in autumn.

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Blazing sunshine illuminates the morning mists in Ullswater in the Lake District

"There is a real problem with spring because so much is flowering so early. That makes it hard to plan the marketing for the botanical gardens. You do rely on things happening at certain times."

Spring does not officially start until the vernal equinox --March 21 this year - or March 1 for Met Office records.

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A red admiral among the early blooms

Capn_Birdseye
February 20th, 2008, 04:34 AM
That's an interesting piece Punzie, perhaps "global warming" is not all bad news!

OmegaNYC
February 20th, 2008, 04:00 PM
Temps hit TWICE the normal in the UK for Febuary?? What was the high? 40F? :cool: Seriously, I thought the temps would be in the 70s lol.