Island temperatures to be hotter than in parts of Italy and Greece

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After a wet and cold start to spring, during which almost twice as much rain as normal fell during March, the mercury was due to hit 24°C today – well above the 13.7°C April average.

It will be a couple of degrees warmer than Athens and a number of coastal resorts in Italy.

The warm spell will come as good news to farmers, who have suffered the worst early season for crops for 40 years.

However, the sun is due to be strong, with a high UV index, and people going out and about in it are being reminded to stay ‘sun safe’.

Jersey Met Office duty forecaster Sharon Merren said people needed to be particularly careful when out in the sun over the next few days as it is the first warm spell of weather this year.

‘The UV index is going to be a very high six, so people need to be sun aware,’ she said. ‘And it will remain high for the weekend. Six is very high UV, with a burning time of 20-30 minutes, so people just have to be careful.’

She said that today was likely to be the warmest day of the year so far, with a south-easterly light force three to moderate force four wind bringing warm air from the Continent.

However, the wind will reduce by the weekend and temperatures are expected to cool – but only slightly.

‘As we go through Thursday and Friday, and possibly Saturday as well, the wind will become lighter and variable in direction. And what tends to happen is mist and fog forms over the Channel, and that is going to obviously see temperatures come down. I think it will burn off over the course of the day overland but it will remain by the coast. We can expect maximum temperatures of around 21°C Thursday and Friday and 22°C at the weekend.’ She added that there was a risk of thundery showers towards the end of the weekend.

Naturalist and conservationist Stephen Le Quesne said the increase in temperatures was good news for local flora and fauna.

‘It is quite noticeable this year how much spring has been delayed because of the cold, wet weather,’ he said. ‘Everything from trees opening their buds to nest-building is only beginning to start now.

‘The warmer weather will benefit all our local flora and fauna as well as our international migrants. The increase in temperatures will help our precious insects, especially those arising from their winter hibernation, as well as hopefully kick-starting the influx of our summer migrants such as swallows, swifts and sand martins.

‘It is looking like spring is going to be a much shorter yet impactful month, and how the year pans out for our local wildlife could depend on the next month or so.’

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