British Summer Time begins!

  • Snow drifts in the Peak District, Sunday 31st March 2013. Photo: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Archive/Press Association Images.

    Snow cover across an area of the Midlands near Birmingham, March 2013. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Archive/Press Association Images.

    Some may choose to hit the beaches this weekend, but fog and low cloud could cause disappointment for those along North Sea coasts. Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Wire/Press Association Images.

  • British Summer Time begins!
    29.03.2014 14:11

    With the clocks springing forward into British Summer Time (BST) this weekend, is the weather also going to give us a taste of summer and how does it compare to last year….?

    During the last Saturday night of March each year, the
    UK switches from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) to BST. Last year this took place on the weekend of 30th/31st (also the Easter weekend), on the back of a very cold and snowy month. Indeed, the night of the clock change saw a minimum temperature of -13C (9F) at Braemar in Aberdeenshire, whilst the mercury only managed to reach a disappointing 9C (48F) anywhere across the UK through the daytime of the 31st – the ‘warmest’ place was St. Athan in Vale of Glamorgan. In addition to the cold temperatures, lying snow of 20-30cm in depth was still present across higher ground of NE Wales, Shropshire and into the Peak District.

    This year, in contrast, the overnight temperature is expected to have stayed above 0C across all of the UK bar the highest ground of Scotland (much above across southern and western areas) as dawn breaks tomorrow (Sunday), the first day of BST. Much of the UK will then have a predominantly dry and warm day tomorrow with sunny intervals, just the outside risk of a heavy shower and temperatures rising up to 20C in the south-east. The exception to the rule will be coastal parts of eastern Scotland and NE England where fog and low cloud is expected to feed in off the North Sea to give a much cooler feel. There is also expected to be showery rain in Northern Ireland.

    The warmth is then expected to continue into the new week in many areas with temperatures perhaps reaching 21C (70F) in the south-east, although with North Sea coastal areas remaining much cooler with areas of fog and low cloud. There is also the risk of the warmth triggering off some heavy showers or thunderstorms, these most likely across western parts of the UK.

    So, the first few days of BST this year are looking poles apart from that of 2013 weather-wise, and with the highest temperature of the spring so far being 20.5C at Gravesend, this accolade is also expected to be taken.

    By: Andy Ratcliffe