James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
UK Bank Holiday weather: 22C heat declared on hottest day of year so far
15 April 2022, 07:39 | Updated: 15 April 2022, 16:04
Good Friday has been declared the hottest day of the year so far with the mercury reaching over 22C, with even warmer spring weather predicted for the rest of the Easter weekend.
The Met Office said it had hit 22C (71.6F) in London's St James's Park making it the warmest day of the year so far.
The temperature is likely to climb further, it added.
It makes the capital hotter than both Mallorca and Madeira, both at 20 degrees, and it will be comfortably warmer in London than the 18 degrees expected in Malta, Ibiza and Crete.
But the warm weather will not be limited to the capital, with the mercury predicted to reach the high teens in northern areas including Yorkshire and parts of Scotland.
"It's looking like Friday will be the warmest day of the year with highs of 22 to 23C, probably most likely in London," the forecaster said.
"The current highest temperature is 20.8C which was recorded in two places - St James Park in London on 23 March and Treknow in Cornwall on 25 March - so we should beat that tomorrow. Widely, it will be quite a warm day."
Mr Keates said although there may not be uninterrupted blue skies, most areas of the UK would enjoy sunny spells and high temperatures.
He urged beach-goers to "stick on the sunscreen" and drink plenty of water to protect against higher-than-average UV levels.
The strength of UV rays could hit 6, which is considered "high" on the Met Office's index.
This increase has been caused by slightly depleted stratospheric ozone, which helps protect Earth from the rays, he said.
Naturally occurring reactions in the atmosphere as well as man-made emissions both contribute to the phenomenon, which is usually temporary, the forecaster added.
He said: "It's a naturally fluctuating cycle, in part not helped by human emissions. There will be a short-term, slight depletion (in stratospheric ozone)... and the sun gets stronger in mid-April as well.
"So if you're going to be outside for a long time, stick on the sunscreen and protect yourself basically as there's a slightly elevated risk of sunburn."
Mr Keates said that some coastal areas may experience "misty and murky" conditions caused by cloud earlier in the day but a lot of areas would be "bright if not sunny".
Late in the afternoon there could be some showers across the Pennines and southern Scotland, but they are unlikely to be heavy.