March 2012 United Kingdom heat wave

March 2012 United Kingdom heat wave
The United Kingdom cloud-free on 26 March 2012
Dates 24 March - 1 April
Areas affected United Kingdom
Highest temperature 23.6 °C (74.5 °F) at Aboyne, Aberdeenshire


The March 2012 United Kingdom and Ireland heat wave was a period of unseasonable warm weather with temperatures getting above 20 °C (68 °F) in many places. The average temperature for this time of year in the United Kingdom is 10 °C (50 °F). Aboyne, Scotland, recorded a temperature of 23.6 °C (74.5 °F) on 27 March, the highest March temperature in Scotland since records began.[2] For around eight days no clouds were visible at any place in the country, allowing the sun to shine straight down through the blue sky and induce high air temperatures. The high pressure also meant there was little wind to act as a coolant.

Meteorological history

The cause of this heat wave was an area of high pressure anchored over the United Kingdom which was named Harry by the Free University of Berlin.[3][4] This high-pressure area was kept in position by the jet stream and its associated frontal systems moving to the north of the country.[5]


As temperatures soared across the United Kingdom, beaches became crowded and businesses in coastal resorts reported increased sales.[6] However, there were also wildfires in some parts of the UK[7] including one to the south of Dumfries which was started by controlled burning.[8]


April, and in fact the rest of 2012 saw a very sudden and drastic turn around. April 2012 became the wettest April on record in much of the UK. This also led on to one of the wettest summers ever recorded in the UK.


  1. "March temperature records broken again in Scotland". BBC News. BBC. 27 March 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  2. Leadbetter, Russell (26 March 2012). "At 22.8°C Scotland breaks record for March weather". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  3. "Spring sunshine sets Scottish temperature record for March". BBC News. BBC. 26 March 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  4. "25 March 2012 surface analysis". Free University of Berlin. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  5. "Sunny March, wet April – how the jet stream is (partly) to blame". Met Office. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  6. "People take to the UK beaches to enjoy March sunshine". BBC News. BBC. 24 March 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
  7. Vinter, Phil (27 March 2012). "Sun, sea, lambs and swaying palm trees! Britain to bask for THREE more days.... but heatwave will end just in time for Easter holidays". Mail Online. Associated Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  8. "Galloway hillside blaze caused by 'controlled' burning". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
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