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Spring temperatures across the UK rise, three warmest years since 1910

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Average spring temperatures across the UK have risen by approximately 1°C over the last few decades according to data released by the Met Office. The three warmest springs were recorded in the past ten years.

The UK mean spring temperatures since 1910 reveal the three warmest springs have occurred in the last ten years: 2011, 2014 and 2007. In 2011, the average UK spring temperature was 9.2°C. Of the top ten warmest springs since 1910, five have occurred since 2000.

“Within many people’s lifetimes, spring in the UK has become appreciably warmer. The average spring temperature across the UK has risen by about 1°C and the number of days recording grass frost has fallen slightly, particularly for Scotland,” Dr Mark McCarthy, head of the Met Office’s National Climate Information Centre, said.

Still, McCarthy and other specialist warn gardeners that spring frosts can still pose a threat, even if the number of frost days in spring has fallen.

“Spring frosts have two effects: one is to damage young plants and newly-emerged flowers and leaves; the other is to kill tender plants, such as sweetcorn and courgettes, which are only grown outdoors in the period from the last to first frosts – usually from mid-May to late September in the south,” Guy Barter, Chief Horticultural Advisor at the Royal Horticultural Society, said.

In a UK series stretching back to 1961, 1984 recorded the most spring frosts, with 47 frost days. 2014, with 23 frost days in spring, recorded the fewest.

John Michaelle

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