BRITAIN enjoys its hottest winter day ever as 21C temperatures spark huge wildfires across the country.
The UK was officially warmer than California’s Malibu today as temperatures reached 21.2C at Kew Gardens in West London.
Gorse fires break out in North Wales following the incredibly dry weather[/caption]
But the incredibly warm weather saw a huge blaze breaking out on the side of a mountain in Betws Yn Rhos in North Wales.
Firefighters also had to battle a huge wildfire which had broken out at Ashdown Forest in East Sussex.
The forest is best known as the setting of A.A. Milne’s children’s classic Winnie the Pooh.
On Monday, the thermometer reached 20.6C at Trawsgoed in Ceredigion, West Wales, the highest recorded in February and beating the previous record of 19.7C in Greenwich in 1998.
Parts of Britain on Tuesday were hotter than a series of popular holiday destinations, beating Malibu, Athens and Barcelona.
Holidaymakers hoping to catch rays in Crete will be bitterly disappointed, with the island seeing 1.2in of rain on Monday and a maximum temperature of 13C forecast for Tuesday.
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The Met Office has predicted maximum temperatures of 21C on Tuesday in areas across the South and South East of England.
Asked if the mercury is likely to rise during the afternoon, forecaster Alex Burkill said: “I think it could do – temperatures are still climbing.”
The warm weather is in stark contrast to this time last year, when the UK was swept by the “Beast from the East” which brought heavy snow showers and lows of minus 5C.
It led to travel delays and power cuts in what were the lowest temperatures in the week leading up to March 1 since 1986.
Last year’s cold weather was down to a similar weather pattern, but the high pressure instead came from Arctic Russia, moving over Scandinavia.
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The conditions seen this week come from the tropic Atlantic and parts of North Africa.
However, by Thursday the weather from the Atlantic will bring colder showers, with temperatures dropping significantly, the Met Office said.
Heavy showers are possible as temperatures will struggle to get above 11C or 12C.
Three-year-old Leo Frost enjoying an ice cream on Blackpool beach[/caption]
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