The UK Met has kept temperature records since 1910, and in all that time, London has never experienced a warmer day in winter than yesterday:
Temperatures in Kew Gardens, south-west London, reached 21.2°C, breaking the record for the warmest February day. The Met Office defines winter from the beginning of December to the end of February, so Tuesday’s sunny spell is also a winter record.
The record had already been broken on Monday, when temperatures exceeded 20°C during winter for the very first time. This week’s unseasonably warm weather differs dramatically from the beginning of the month, when sub-zero temperatures were recorded across the country.
The previous winter record had been 19.7°C in Greenwich, south-east London, in 1998.
“The average temperature for this time of year is 9°C in London and 9°C in north Wales, so what we’re seeing is Δ9°C degrees above average,” said Martin Bowles, a Met Office meteorologist.
Bowles said: “We can’t blame climate change directly because we’re talking about weather, not the climate. But it is a sign of climate change. There’s been a gradual increase of temperatures over the last 30 years so the extreme weather has also been increasing.”
Parts of Britain on Tuesday were hotter than Malibu, Athens, Crete and Barcelona.
The warmest day I ever experienced in London was in August, 2009, when the temperature hit 31°C. Yesterday was almost that warm, and August is still six months out.
Can't wait to see what the summer is like.