Frostiest April for at least 60 years in UK

Frosty conditions have been common throughout April this year – Image: Shutterstock

April 2021 has provisionally been the frostiest in at least 60 years for the UK, topping the previous frostiest April in 1970, with records going back to 1960.  

April 2021 has already seen an average of 13 days of air frosts reported for the UK, topping the 11 days seen in April 1970. The frosty conditions have been replicated across the UK, with England (12 days), Wales (11 days) and Scotland (16 days) also reporting their frostiest April since it began being reported in 1960. Northern Ireland has currently seen 8 days of frost, not yet exceeding their current record of 11 days set in April 1983.  

Mark McCarthy, from the National Climate Information Centre, said, “We’ve been seeing a high frequency of frosts overnight throughout April thanks largely to persistent clear skies for most. This will be reflected in the end of the month statistics, which are already showing above average sunshine duration, as well as low minimum temperature readings overnight, with some parts of northern England and Scotland reporting minimum temperatures 3.5°C lower than the average for April.” 

The conditions have been particularly challenging for the country’s farmers and growers. Chief Horticulturist at the Royal Horticultural Society Guy Barter said, “Considerable damage has been experienced in many gardens with flowers such as camellia and magnolias being scorched, and cherry, plum and pear blossom injured so that the fruit crop will be reduced.” 

With the risk of frost persisting through this week, gardeners are being encouraged to keep tender plants inside for now, or, if they must go out, cover them with cloches or horticultural fleece. You can check out our previous blog post on the expected weather this week and over the bank holiday weekend.  

Current provisional frost figures across the UK in April (days):  

UK – 13 

England  – 12 

Southern England – 11 

Northern England – 14 

Wales – 11 

Scotland – 16 

Northern Ireland – 8 

The full weather statistics for April 2021 will be available at the end of the month.

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