UK

UK Weather: Warmest Day Of The Year As Sun Makes It 18C In Some Parts Of England

09/03/2014 08:09 GMT | Updated 09/03/2014 08:59 GMT

Britain is set to bask in the highest temperatures of the year so far today - warmer than some holiday spots in the Mediterranean, according to forecasters.

Temperatures will reach 18C (64.4F) in parts of England, making it "exceptionally mild" for the time of year and warmer than parts of Greece and Turkey, according to the Met Office.

And after the wettest winter on record in England and Wales, the rain is also set to stay away in the coming days due to a band of high pressure across Britain.

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Spring?

Calum MacColl, a meteorologist at the Met Office, said: "Across much of England and Wales, it will be a really nice day with plenty of sunshine.

"In the area north of London and up towards Lincolnshire, we could see temperatures around 17C (62.6F) to 18C (64.4F), which would be the warmest day this year and exceptionally mild for the time of the year."

"There will be some heavy outbreaks around south Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England tomorrow, which will push south and give a cloudier feel. But there's lots of dry weather to be had for the rest of the week," said MacColl.

On average, temperatures in mid-March are only around 12C (53.6F) but a yearly high of 16.9C (62.4F) was recorded at Heathrow Airport on Friday.

Those looking to enjoy the sunshine have been warned to stay away from one tourist hotspot in East Sussex.

The cliff edge at Birling Gap has undergone a series of collapses after recent bad weather, and tourists hoping to catch a glimpse of further erosion have been told to exercise caution after two people had to be rescued when they were cut off by the incoming tide earlier in the week.

A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: "Some sections of the coast are particularly vulnerable to cliff falls and landslips.

"We are advising the public to take great care when walking on cliff paths or along beaches."

The moderate weather is expected to continue into next week but temperatures will drop off slightly to 14C (57.2F) on Monday, said the Met Office.

The unseasonally balmy conditions have already forced some British supermarkets into getting strawberries on to their shelves early.

A spokesman for retailer Waitrose said: "While the wet weather has caused havoc for many, milder temperatures have resulted in an earlier harvest than usual, with English strawberries available a week earlier than 2013."

Other traditional European holiday destinations are experiencing unusually cold weather, said MacColl.

"Areas such as inland Greece will be struggling to get into double figures today while coastal parts around the Black Sea will only reach temperatures that are in the late teens," he added.