Temperatures in much of northwest Europe have hit record levels as unusually warm weather gripped the region on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, starting with the UK, which registered its warmest March day in 53 years when the mercury soared above 24 °C (75.2 °F). The heat dome is forecast to dissipate in the coming days, while a new area of high pressure is expected over Iceland and northern Britain. Forecast models call for significant cool-off in the days ahead, centered first in SE Europe, followed by another significant and widespread cold wave.
On Tuesday, the UK sweltered through its warmest March day in 53 years as temperatures peaked at 25 °C (76.1 °F) at Kew Gardens, west London. It was slightly below the country's hottest March temperature of 25.6 °C (78.1 °F) set in 1968 at Cambridgeshire.
According to Met Office forecaster, Alex Burkill, Tuesday's temperature was 'exceptionally high for the time of year.'
Steve Ramsdale, a chief meteorologist at the Met Office, added, "Highs will fall to the mid-teens before falling further by Friday (April 2), especially along the east coast."
Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands just 16 km (10 miles) off northern France, hit 22.9 °C (73.2 °F) on Tuesday afternoon, smashing the highest March temperature in the area in more than 125 years of record.
Image credit: WeatherBell
In Switzerland, monthly records tumble at individual weather stations, including several at high elevations of the Alps. Grimsel recorded 10.9 °C (51.6 °F), exceeding the record of 10.4 °C (50.7 °F) set on March 11, 1997.
Chasseral, a mountain peak in northwestern Switzerland, rose to 14 °C (57.2 °F), beating the previous record of 13 °C (55.4 °F) set in March 1990.
Belgium had 13 stations break local monthly records on the same day, while Austria had 29 stations. Records also fell in Spain and Oman.
On Wednesday, March 31, Germany and Netherlands set all-time records for March, with highs of 27.2 °C (81 °F) and 26.1 °C (79 °F), respectively.
A new monthly record was set in Paris as the city registered 26 °C (78.8 °F), beating the previous record set on March 25, 1955.
Meanwhile, France's average maximum temperature on Wednesday was the highest for the month of March as the mercury hit 29.8 °C (85.6 °F), while Luxembourg had its first 25 °C (77 °F) reading for March.
The heat over Europe is expected to dissipate in the coming days, while a new area of high pressure is forecast over Iceland and northern Britain.
Forecast models call for significant cool-off in the days ahead, coming first from the NE and centered over SE Europe from April 3. This blast is followed by another significant and widespread cold wave which will first affect the United Kingdom and then spread to much of Europe.
The cold wave might stick around through April 12, with only slight warming expected through April 18.
The blast will also bring snow to many parts of the continent, most of it to the Alps and the Balkans.
Featured image credit: WeatherBell
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