That’s because it has been a month for the record books as the nation has already seen its frostiest April ever and is inching closer to what will likely be one of the driest Aprils on record.
As of April 28, London had only recorded .28 inches (7.2 mm) of rainfall for the entire month, nearly all of it falling on the 28th. However, this remains well below its April average of 1.34 inches (34 mm) of rainfall. The lack of rain hasn’t just been isolated to London, a city known for its gloomy conditions. In southern England, the monthly rainfall has only amounted to 7% of normal, while Wales hasn’t fared much better, recording just 12% of its monthly rainfall average.
See if rain is in the forecast
As of April 22, the national rainfall average for April amounted to just .5 inches (12.8 mm), whereas typically 2.8 inches (72 mm) would fall. With only scattered showers possible in the waning days of the month, the UK stands to challenge the driest April on record, currently held by April 1938 when .55 inches (14.1 mm) fell and April 1974, when .57 inches (14.6 mm) fell.
Frostiest April on record
The UK as a whole has seen an average of 13 days of air frosts this month, topping the 11 days seen in April 1970 and most since records began in 1960. England has recorded 12 such days, Wales with 11 days and Scotland 16 days.
On clear nights the ground is often cooler than the air just a few feet off the ground where the temperature is measured, Ward explains.
“So if the ground temperature is below freezing, that dew becomes frost.”
These conditions have challenged even the country’s hardiest farmers and growers.
Although April 2020 saw a remarkable 151% of normal sunshine duration for the month, it also saw just 40% of its normal rainfall. However, that would still be roughly double the UK’s rainfall thus far in April 2021.
Wildfires are fueled by April’s dry weather
Fire crews battled the challenging landscape both by ground and by air to gain the upper hand on the fast-moving flames. Elsewhere, fires in Cornwall, Dorset, Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Orkney all posed similar challenges.