Britain is set for more spring sunshine after a record-breaking weekend which saw Scotland log its highest March temperature. At Fyvie Castle, Aberdeenshire, on Sunday afternoon, the temperature hit 22.8C (73F), beating the previous March record of 22.2C set at Gordon Castle, Morayshire, in Moray, on 12 March 1957.
Met Office forecaster Rebekah Sherwin said: “The average for this time of year is generally about 11C across central England and 8, 9, 10 in Scotland. We’re quite a lot warmer than that at the moment. We classify this as very warm.”
Unbroken sunshine could also set a new high in Northern Ireland, where, in Armagh on 28 and 29 March 1965, the March record of 21.7C was recorded. In Belfast, the temperature reached 19.3C by 4pm on Sunday.
Saturday’s maximum was in Porthmadog, Wales, where a high of 22.2C made it hotter than Madrid, Rome, Athens and Barcelona.
Sherwin said the spell of fine dry weather would last well into the week, with most areas getting warm temperatures and sun on Monday once the overnight fog disappeared.
The sunshine saw people heading for the beach throughout the weekend. The medical research charity Arthritis Research UK urged people at risk of vitamin D deficiency to take advantage of the chance to top up their levels of the “sunshine vitamin”.
Those at risk include people over the age of 65, pregnant and breastfeeding women, children aged six months to five years old, and people who rarely go outside.
The heatwave has been accompanied by morning fog in many areas, and low-level cloud has dented temperatures on the eastern side of England. Bridlington, on the Yorkshire coast, reached only 9.2C on Saturday. But across the south-west, in the Channel Islands, the Isles of Scilly and Wales it was dry and sunny. Kew Gardens, in London, recorded a high of 19.6C on Saturday.
The outlook for Tuesday to Thursday suggested most areas would be fine and warm, though at times there could be more cloud and a cooler feel on the south-east coast, the Met Office said.
Sherwin said the sunny weather would begin to vanish on Thursday in the far north, with cloud and rain. Temperatures would return to seasonal norms and the rest of the country would follow suit.
From the start of April, temperatures are likely to return nearer to average across all areas, with some quite chilly nights. The north is expected to get more unsettled and windier conditions, and possibly wintry showers in the far north, with even snow on the hills.