UK Weather: Frostiest April for 60 years and more heavy rainfall to lash the country

As April 2021 draws to a close with some much-needed rainfall experts predict that the month will turn out to be the frostiest in the UK for 60 years.

Wednesday will see a second day of widespread rain with showers, sometimes heavy, across most parts after downpours lashed the country yesterday.

And provisional figures from the Met Office show that a new, recent record could be about to be set.

An average of 13 days of air frosts have already been reported across the country this month, topping the 11 days seen in April 1970, according to forecasters.

Across the four nations, England has reported 12 days and Wales 11 days. Scotland has reported 16 days, making it the frostiest April since records began in 1960.

A woman covers her head on Oxford Street during heavy rain
More rain is expected to lash the country today

Northern Ireland has currently seen eight days of frost, not yet exceeding its current record of 11 days set in April 1983.

It comes after several days of clear skies and sunshine across the UK led to heavy downpours, as well as double-digit daytime temperatures across large parts of the country.

The clear skies has meant that chillier nights and more frosts are expected to continue as the month comes to a close.

Annie Shuttleworth, meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “We’ve seen high pressure dominating for the last few weeks which is why we’ve had the drier weather and less cloud.

“Clearer skies mean temperatures can cool off more readily overnight when there’s no sun but in the day clearer skies can act to warm up the daytime temperatures.”

Visitors enjoy the cherry blossom in Greenwich Park
There has been clear skies and sunny weather for much of this month

Average overnight temperatures have been hovering around freezing at 0.4C (32.7F), which is three degrees lower than the UK average for April – at 3.4C (38.1F).

The maximum daytime temperature has also been slightly lower than average at 11.4C (52.3F), compared with 12C (53.6F) which is normal for April.

Ms Shuttleworth said that sunny spells would still feature in the coming days, but parts of the country would also see showers, and overnight temperatures would stay low.

While there has been rainfall yesterday with more expected today it has been one of the driest Aprils on record, with the UK seeing less than a fifth of the average rainfall for the month so far.

Rain map for the UK today
Total rainfall for this month has been lower than usual

UK Weather map
Generally bright and warm temperatures are expected today

Up to April 22, there had been an average of 12.8mm of rain across the UK, much lower than the April average of 72.53mm, according to Met Office figures.

A typical April in the UK would have had 70% of its rainfall by now, but it instead has just had 18%.

But Ms Shuttleworth said rain in the coming days could drive up averages.

“You could get some rain over the next couple of days that will bring the totals up,” she said.

“It has been a very dry April, with quite a few areas of the UK seeing quite a small margin of their average April rainfall.

“Some counties may see their lowest April rainfall but it won’t be a UK-wide thing.”

UK Weather Forecast


Areas of rain in parts of central, south, and southwest UK. Heavy at times particularly in the south. Showers feeding into northern parts but good shelter in the west. Breezy in the east and feeling chilly for most.


Rain in the south becoming focussed in the far southeast where some heavy bursts continuing. Showers persisting in northern and northeastern parts. Dry elsewhere and chilly, particularly in west.


Any rain in far southeast soon clearing. Then sunny spells and showers, most frequent in north and northeast whilst southwest parts mostly dry. Staying cool and breezy in the east.

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