With the upcoming Easter weekend, many of us will be planning outdoor activities, to which the weather could play an important role.
This weekend’s forecast in Aylesbury Vale is to come, but first, what about past years and what we can expect, on average, weather-wise over Easter?
Easter Sunday always falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the Spring Equinox (March 21) and so can be anywhere in a 35 day period from March 22 to April 25.
The climatological average maximum temperature in Bucks rises by nearly 4C in this period, from around 10C to 14C. Combine this with the large variability in the day to day and week to week weather in a typical British spring, it means that the Easter weather can be as warm as an average day in mid-summer or as cold as in the depths of winter.
The warmest Easter in recent history was actually only three years ago in 2011, when much of south-east England and East Anglia basked in temperatures of 25-27C, values that would be impressive in mid-summer, let alone April. Wisley in Surrey was the hot-spot, reaching 28C.
There have been some notable cold and snowy Easters too though.
In fact, snow is more likely to fall at Easter than Christmas in the UK, albeit often in the form of short-lived showers.
Easter 1983 was a particularly snowy one across the UK, with up to 10cm falling over large parts of Scotland, the Midlands and eastern counties of England.
Most of the snow was associated with a polar disturbance which moved southwards across the UK on Easter Sunday, bringing travel disruption as far south as Kent. Several Easters in the 1970s also experienced widespread snow.
Easter 1998 will live long in the memories of many thanks to the persistent rainfall and consequent flooding which affected a large area from Wales in the west, across the Midlands and into East Anglia. A slow-moving frontal system brought up to 48 hours of near continuous rain in these areas on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, the rain turning to sleet and snow at times too over higher ground in north Wales and the Pennines. Over 4000 homes and businesses were flooded across England and Wales, 2000 in Northampton alone. The cost of the flooding has been estimated at £350 million.
So what about this Easter? Well, nothing as exceptional as the Easters mentioned above, with temperatures close to average, but it will be rather changeable. Some sunny spells are expected tomorrow and Good Friday, with some brighter spells on Saturday too, although there will be a scattering of showers around. A spell of heavier rain is possible on Sunday, before a return to brighter skies and the odd shower on Monday.