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Heatwave to continue over weekend
Britain will bask in temperatures 7C above average as the unseasonal March weather is set to continue over the weekend.
The heatwave will strike the whole of Britain, with Sunday's high expected in Scotland, while the Welsh town of Aberystwyth will show the largest rise on average temperatures.
Sally Webb, meteorologist at MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said that temperatures on Friday had been well in excess of expectations for the time of year.
"Temperatures in London have been 8C above average," she said. "It has mainly been warmest in the South East, particularly the Surrey and Kent areas. The high temperature was 20.6C in Charlwood, Surrey.
"In contrast, on the east coast the fog and mist has resulted in much lower temperatures. The high in Scarborough at 2pm was only 8C and it was only 6C in Inverbervie near Aberdeen.
"London will have the high of 19C on Saturday, and on Sunday we could see 20C in Kinloss, Scotland. The biggest difference with the average temperature will be in Aberystwyth, which will be 7C higher than normal. In the east there may still be clouds and fog which will clear eventually but could lead to cooler temperatures.
"The last time we saw temperatures like this in Britain was in 2005. It does not happen often, but it is nice when it does.
"There is a high pressure system in the North Sea which is affecting the whole of Europe. There is another south of Greece and in combination the two mean unseasonably high temperatures across the continent. Western France is 6C above average for this time of year, some parts of Germany are 7C higher.
"However, the big heatwave has been in North America, particularly the Great Lakes. A number of areas have broken their monthly records on consecutive days this week. In Pellston, Michigan, the temperature on Wednesday was 28.9C, 27C higher than average. In St John, New Brunswick, it was 25.4C on Wednesday. The previous March record was 17.5C, and the April record is 22.8C.
"There is a high pressure system in the area, but the lack of snow is also important. Normally the energy from the sun would go into melting the snow. As there is no snow this year the energy is heating the area instead."