WITHIN 6 DAYS Parts of Europe Flip From ALL-TIME March Heat To ALL-TIME April Cold!

Written by on April 25, 2021 in Rest of Europe, United Kingdom & Ireland with 0 Comments

2021 has seen quite the weather seesaw so far with spells of significant cold as well as warm with swings from one extreme to the other.

Take February in the UK alone, we had a minimum of -23C recorded at Braemar, Aberdeenshire, 2 weeks later, Santon Downham, Suffolk soared to 18.4C. That’s one of the greatest swings on record for the UK in a single month.

Credit: BBC Weather

Credit: BBC Weather

The spring has followed in winter’s up and down footsteps by producing chilly conditions (particularly mainland Europe) followed by the warmest March day since 1968 for the UK while Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg all observing the warmest March days on record.

Credit: Scott Duncan

Monthly records were broken in cities across France, Spain and Italy to name a few.

A strongly +AO/NAO followed the first -AO/NAO winter in several years.

The NAO was negative during winter and positive from mid Feb but not as extreme as the AO.

The first of TWO waves of arctic air arrived Easter weekend.

Both waves swept straight from the pole aboard powerful northerly winds. The first, arguably more potent and the 2nd when factoring in combination of low temperature and strong winds.

On the face of it, Easter Monday’s minimums were certainly cold by April 5th standards but taking a widespread 30-40 mph north wind into consideration, it was brutal.

Credit: Meteociel

These were the wind chill values around the time the overnight minimum was recorded Easter Monday.

Credit: Meteoceil

Credit: Meteoceil

Quite the shock to the system after a relatively mild day Easter Sunday.

Credit: Meteoceil

Located considerably closer to the source of cold, Iceland observed coast to coast temperatures well below freezing and in many cases below -10C.

Credit: Meteoceil

At an elevation of 850m, Gagnheidi didn’t see a temperature above -15.6C. It also observed a wind chill of -33.7C.

For the UK, the epicentre of ‘coldest by day’ went to Loch Glascarnoch where on the 5th, a maximum of 1C was achieved, on the 6th 0.7C and on the 9th 1.5C.

Credit: Meteoceil

From this event, I can recall falling snow 6 out of 7 days with multiple accumulations even during the daytime, hard to do given the strength of sun, length of days now.

The frequent snow showers produced significant depth within the Highlands and this spread southwards through England and Wales as well as Northern Ireland.

A full week after the initial blast of arctic air swept south in two waves via a powerful northerly, HP built in off the Atlantic cutting off the biting north flow. The high however trapped the cold in place and within a largely calm environment, this allowed the temperature on 4 straight nights to fall below -7C in the UK, rare for April.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

The first of the 4 very cold nights produced a -7.8C at Shap, Cumbria which made for England’s coldest April minimum since 2013.

Credit: Meteoceil

The following night, Shap dipped further to -8.4C.

Credit: Meteoceil

On the 3rd night, despite daytime temperatures rising some, the overnight radiational cooling effect grew even stronger. Tulloch Bridge, Highland fell to -9.4C which surpassed April 2018’s UK minimum of -8.8C and became UK’s coldest for April since 2013.

Credit: Meteoceil


Many of the cities which observed new all-time heat records for March found themselves setting new cold records for April within 6 days.

Though no records were set across the Paris sites, a low of 0C was the city’s coldest April temperature since 2008.


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