chery blossom in sunshine

April was warmer and drier than average – and the fifth sunniest April across the UK since records began, suggest early estimates.

It was a sunny and warm month over all, with well above average sunshine almost everywhere, according to Met Office figures to 28 April.

See also: Dry weather heralds aphid risk in oilseed rape

But the Met Office cautioned: “Clearly these are early month figures and the statistics at the end of the month will change somewhat.”

Some locations, particularly in the east of the country, saw some 50% more sunshine than average, said the Met Office.

East Scotland had its sunniest April on record – with 202 hours of sunshine – two more hours of sunshine than record-breaking 1942.

It was also the second sunniest April for East Anglia and North-East England with 212.4 hours of sunshine – just behind 2011 which had 216.9 hours.

Mean temperatures for the month were also mostly above average.

The mean temperature for the UK was 8C. This is 0.6C above the long-term (1981-2010) average for the whole month.

Daytime temperatures rose above average in many areas, especially in the South.

The year’s highest temperature so far (25.6 C) recorded at Faversham (Kent) on the afternoon of 15 May. This was the highest April temperature anywhere in the UK since 2011.

But minimum temperatures have been near or below average, particularly in Northern Ireland and parts of northern England and southern Scotland.

In Northern Ireland, -8.0C was recorded in Katesbridge, County Down, on 27 April.

April was a dry month, particularly across the southern half of the UK with only a third, to a half, of normal rainfall quite widely and less than 20% in some places.

Data from the Met Office’s UK digitised records date back to 1910.