The weather joys of April during these difficult times

(Posted: April 23, 2020)

With the entirety of the UK spending much of our time indoors at the moment due to the current situation, the little bit of freedom we do get is becoming increasingly precious. For many of us this freedom comes in the form of our allocated daily exercise, whether that’s cycling, running, walking or simply just taking the dog for a stroll.

Considering the record breaking rain and flooding we experienced back in February and with April being synonymous with the term ‘April showers’, we have been incredibly fortunate with the weather so far this month with regular clear, sunny skies and little to no rain allowing us to go about our daily exercise without worrying about whether we need a rain jacket or not.

This settled weather is predominantly due to high pressure dominating across Europe for much of April and often ridging across the UK. From our Elms cottage site here on the University of Birmingham campus we can see that so far throughout April the air pressure has been high with it consistently staying over 1000 hPa (or mbar).

Due to this high pressure, we have had many clear skies through the day and night. This has led to a big diurnal temperature difference. Daytime highs have often been in the teens and have even reached over 20°C on multiple occasions so far this April. The highest temperature for our Elms cottage site so far this April was recorded on Saturday 11th during the Bank Holiday weekend at 15:08 reaching 23.86°C .

In contrast, temperatures can often drop drastically through the night leading to some cooler temperatures and on occasion frosty mornings. The lowest temperature recorded so far this April was recorded in the early hours of the 14th April at –0.98°C.

As mentioned April has been very dry so far with only 4 days at our Elms cottage site seeing incidences of rain. The highest daily total for this was on the 13th April when a trailing cold front from a low pressure system situated over Scandinavia crossed over the southern half of the UK. This resulted in approximately 6mm of rain being recorded at our Elms cottage site with only ~12mm total recorded so far this month—well below average for April. Through the 13th we also saw colder northerly air move across the UK which resulted in those colder temperatures recorded over the 13th and 14th.

Looking forward, it seems as though this settled weather is here to stay for the rest of April. There is the risk of the last few days of the month becoming more unsettled as a few models including the GFS indicate the potential presence of low pressure moving in from the west however, it is too soon to conclude on this and so we have our fingers crossed for this beautiful weather to remain, giving us the chance to truly enjoy our daily trip out.

So stay safe, enjoy the sunshine and keep up to date on the weather in your area of Birmingham here.