Warm spring expected to continue

Halstead Gazette: Bookmakers have slashed the odds of the March temperature record of 25.6C being broken this year Bookmakers have slashed the odds of the March temperature record of 25.6C being broken this year

The warm embrace of spring will continue this weekend as the mercury is set to reach 19C (66F).

The unusually mild weather has caused b ookmakers to slash the odds of the March temperature record of 25.6C (78F) being broken this year.

Forecasters said the south of England would have the best conditions this weekend, with parts of Scotland experiencing rain.

Met Office spokesman Dan Williams said today would be dry and expected maximum temperatures to be "significantly above average", which is 9C (48F) for the UK in March.

Temperatures should get up to the high teens in places, he said, and it will probably be warmest in the South East, East Anglia and London, with temperatures up to 17C (62F) or 18C (64F).

Mr Williams said: "On Sunday we expect a fairly similar day. It looks mainly dry with some good, bright spells and sunny weather particularly over eastern parts, but cloudy in the West.

"The top temperature will probably be in the London area, reaching 18C or 19C (66F) at a push."

Going into next week, Mr Williams said that Monday would be "fairly settled and dry" but with more cloud cover and a maximum temperature of 16C (60F) .

Conditions will become "more unsettled" from Tuesday onwards, he added.

Meanwhile Ladbrokes has cut the odds of the mercury soaring past the 25.6C (78F) March record set in Mepal, Cambridgeshire, in 1968 from 8/1 to 3/1.

Optimistic Londoners who think the capital will not see a drop of rain all month can get odds of 50/1.

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