A truly memorable Spring
Provisional figures released by the Met Office show that Spring 2011 (March 1st to May 31st inclusive) with a mean temperature 10.2C was the equal warmest in the Central England Temperature series which dates back to 1659.
Only Spring 1893 was as warm as Spring 2011. Spring 2007 with a mean temperature of 10.1C is now 3rd warmest on record.
According to the England and Wales rainfall series, dating back to 1766, Spring 2011 was the 3rd driest since these records began, and the driest since 1893.
Across the UK as a whole, 185mm of rain was recorded, which is 80% of the 1971-2000 average. This masked sharp regional variations, with some eastern parts of England recording less than a third of normal rainfall.
Locally, Leeming in North Yorkshire also set new records.
It was the driest Spring on record with 37.8mm, beating the previous record of 46.8mm set in 1990.
It was also the sunniest Spring on record with 552.4hrs, beating the previous record of 544.1hrs set in 1948.
2011 was also the joint warmest on record with 9.7C, matching the previous record set in 1945.
Leeming's figures go back to 1945.
March and April in particular were dominated by persistent areas of high pressure which led to the dry and warm conditions. But early indications suggest that the the foreseeable future is likely to be unsettled across the UK as a whole, and dominated by low pressure with West or Southwesterly winds - climatologically normal for the UK - with no sign of the long hot summer widely talked about in the press.