Frostiest April for at least 60 years in UK

The Met Office have just caught up on the fact that it’s been rather frosty this month, and quick as a flash on the 27th of April they’ve issued a news blog to announce the fact that it’s been the frostiest April for sixty years.

Posted on 27 April, 2021 by Met Office Press Office
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 reported for the UK, topping the 11 days seen in April 1960. 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.

Courtesy UKMO

Here are a couple of additional graphics from me that you might find of interest about April:-

I would love to say that the climate data that I used to produce this table and map was supplied by the UKMO.
Alas, it comes courtesy of OGIMET in Spain, to whom I am eternally grateful.

It’s certainly been frosty this April in the north of Scotland. I will say that the total for Loch Glascarnoch is incomplete because of a comms outage there, and I reckon their total is at least two light with a total of at least 22. I suppose the lower anomalies across the high ground suggest that anomalies for the number of frosts have been lower with height, but that’s a little bit hard to reconcile with the fact that 22 frosts occurred at 269 M amsl at Glascarnoch. We’ve been missing Cairngorm and Aonach Mor hourly temperatures for the whole month of April so I wonder if their chart must is based on height above sea level rather than observations.

Courtesy UKMO

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