A cooler, wetter April - but what's in store for the rest of spring?

Parts of Scotland are heading for their wettest April on record - Sean explains why we're getting such a rotten deal weather-wise this year.

Sean Batty insight: A cooler, wetter April – but what’s in store for the rest of spring? Getty Images

Apart from a few nice days here and there it feel like it’s been a pretty rotten spring and most of you will be wondering why it’s not much warmer.

Surprisingly we’ve already hit 20 degrees this year, although only at Fyvie Castle in Aberdeenshire on April 12.

A spring which was much more disappointing was 2021 when it took until May 28 to reach 20 degrees in Scotland – pretty dire stuff! 

This was the latest the 20 degree mark had been hit since 1983 when it took, unbelievably, until the first day of June.

Strangely, in January of this year we had a huge anomaly when the mercury hit 18C. The temperature has only hit this level in January twice on record, the last time being 2003.

Ok, so we’re not still waiting on 20C being achieved, but it still feels cold out there just now. Today it’ll be around eight degrees across much of the north, but what is normal?

At this point in the spring it should be about 9C in Shetland, 10C in Inverness, 11C in Aberdeen and 12C in Glasgow and Edinburgh. So in actual fact our temperatures just now are not too far off where they should be during the day.

The night-time values are also not too far off too, with frosts still quite common in more rural locations in April.

Parts of Scotland are headed for their wettest April on recordiStock

But why does it feel so rubbish; do we just have short memories and April is always like this, or have we really had a rotten deal this year?

Heavy rain doesn’t help our perception of the month, and with quite a few spots in central and eastern Scotland heading for their wettest April on record, and over three times what we normally expect in some spots, like Grangemouth, it’s not a good start.

With temperatures, average is all very well, but if we had a whole month with ‘average’ temperatures we’d all be moaning. We expect some days to be a good bit warmer than those numbers.

Looking at the number of days when the temperature has reached or exceeded 15C this April it looks like this could be the worst since 2016.

It’s also been a very cloudy month, especially in the north and east of the country with around 65% of the usual amount.

So much much wetter than normal, a lack of days above 15C and much cloudier than normal – ok, I’m officially rating this April ‘rubbish’.

The reason for this is because of high pressure which has ended up residing over the North Atlantic and Greenland which has put the UK in a more showery and cooler zone. The jet stream is a lot further south than normal with even Portugal, Spain and France experiencing much more unsettled weather than normal.

But the big question is, will this change anytime soon? Short answer, not really. 

It does look like the weather will be a little more unsettled for a time next week, before settling back down into the start of May, however this is because high pressure is likely to develop to our north. This would continue to draw cooler air in from the Arctic at times and still give us mediocre daytime temperatures and chilly nights.

But here’s a wee straw to clutch, after the very slow start to 2021, the summer turned out to be much drier, much sunnier and warmer than usual…

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