Weather Watch

This article originally appeared in the Daily Telegraph, April 5, 2014

It would have escaped no one’s attention that March was much drier than the sodden months that preceded it. It was also marginally sunnier and warmer than normal.

So far, April April has brought varied weather typical of spring – and a Saharan dust storm.

Last weekend, south-easterly winds brought a flow of warmer air to central and south-eastern areas.

As a result, much of the South East experienced temperatures of around 68F (20C), with temperatures rising to nearly 70F (20.9C) in St James’s Park, London, and Santon Downham, Suffolk.

In contrast, the North East experienced far less pleasant weather, as a cold breeze swept in off the North Sea, which is especially cold at this time of the year.

Northern Ireland was cloudy and overcast and Porthmadog in Wales has three-quarters of an inch (19.22mm) of rain.

Monday saw little change and, as April arrived on Tuesday, the weather remained similar.

It was warm and mostly dry in the South East. In contrast, Culdrose in Cornwall experience turbulent winds reaching up to 41mph. Wyke in Shropshire experienced the most rainfall, with 6.8mm of rain.

The hottest day of the year came on Wednesday.

In Frittenden, Kent, temperatures rose to 70F (21C) but it remained stormy in Northern Ireland, eith 20.2mm of rainfall falling.

The talk, however, was really all about the air pollution caused by a perfect storm of dust from the Sahara and emissions from the Continent being carried by low south-easterly winds mixing eith domestic pollution.

Parts of the country experienced “very high” levels of pollution, some scoring 10 out of 10 on Defra’s pollution scale.

By yesterday evening all of the South and Midlands were expected to have returned to “low” levels of two or three out of 10, with a band across the North from Yorkshire to Cumbria remaining at four or “moderate”.


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