UK forecast: 'Tropical air' to bring mild weather

Crocuses in full bloom at the Royal Victoria Park in Bath on Friday Image copyright PA
Image caption The weekend could see higher temperatures in the UK than parts of southern Europe

A plume of "tropical air" is expected to sweep across parts of the UK over the weekend, bringing unseasonably mild temperatures, says BBC Weather.

Forecaster Steve Cleaton said: "Through the weekend, increasingly mild air of tropical origin will be steered across the UK by westerly winds."

Temperatures are expected to peak on Monday, with highs of 17C in some parts.

The record temperature recorded for a day in February was 19.7C in 1998.

The mild weather will be enjoyed across much of England, east Wales, eastern Scotland and eastern parts of Northern Ireland. In western and northern parts, the weather is likely to be more rainy and cloudy.

The rise could see the UK enjoy higher temperatures than parts of southern Europe, including the Balearic islands of Menorca and Majorca.

Our forecaster said the unusually high temperatures were the result of mild and moist air and a meteorological phenomenon called the Foehn effect.

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Media captionJohn Hammond explains the Foehn effect

There have already been a few mild spells during this winter and the temperatures reached 17C on 7 December, in Hawarden, Flintshire.

However, gardeners have been warned by the Royal Horticultural Society not to get carried away by the first signs of life in the year's "most treacherous month".

Guy Barter, RHS chief horticulturist, said February can often see balmy temperatures mixed with dry winds, showers and night frosts.

He added: "Wise gardeners know to be wary and wait until mid-March or even April before sowing and planting".

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