SSEN's Weather Watch for April 2021

A review of March shows the UK mean temperature was 6.4°C, which is 0.9°C above the 1981-2010 long-term average, with the milder second half more than making up for the initial cold spell. Many areas had a rather dry month, with rainfall 89% of average overall, although some parts of western Scotland, north west England and north Wales exceeded their average rainfall amount. 

The Met Office map in our summary image shows the temperature departure from the updated long-term average which is using data from 1991-2020; the blue colours highlight below average, with the red showing above average. For the three month period of January to March 2021, the northern part of Europe was generally colder than normal, with mostly above average values in the southern half.  

The first week of April has been colder than normal, especially across Scotland, and although the night temperatures were sub-zero, there was little ice formation due to the very dry air coming down from the Arctic. The precipitation levels have been below average, but snow and hail showers developed in places. 

So far, our weather has been impacted by a high pressure anomaly centred to the west of Iceland and this really sets the scene for the remainder of the month as well. We’re expecting areas of high pressure to move around the UK and Ireland, and we’re likely to have less low pressure coming in from the Atlantic. 

The temperature levels will start mostly below average (with both days and nights colder than normal), but there should be a trend for the daytime temperatures to become warmer. As a result, some very pleasant spring weather is expected from time to time and the high pressure will generally bring mostly fine and dry weather patterns with below average rainfall and wind speeds. 

As a typical example, the Met Desk map at the top of this page shows the precipitation anomaly across Europe for the period  of 17 to 23 April. The yellow and orange colour-code shows where it is going to be drier than normal, so that includes most of mainland Europe, but some wet spells are expected for parts of the Mediterranean countries - shown by the blue regions. 

We will return in a couple of weeks to check out the prospects for the May and the likely weather patterns impacting the UK and Ireland. In the meantime, the weather for the remainder of April should be mostly fine. 

About the author

Headshot of Simon Cardy

Simon Cardy Senior Meteorologist for SSE

Simon is the Senior Meteorologist at SSE and a Fellow Member of the Royal Meteorological Society. Through detailed analysis of the weather and climate, Simon provides valuable information to departments across SSE, including Networks (power distribution), Renewable Energy (wind farms and hydro dams) and Energy Demand Forecasting (how much electricity and gas we need each hour).

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