April 2021 had the lowest average minimum temperatures for April in the UK since 1922, as air frost and clear conditions combined for a frost-laden, chilly month, despite long hours of sunshine.

Early provisional figures from the Met Office’s National Climate Information Centre indicate that April had the third lowest average UK minimum temperature for the month since records began in 1884, while Wales, Scotland and England all reported their figures in their top five lowest ever recorded. 

Average daily maximum temperatures were also below normal, but not by as much as the minimum temperatures. 

But we have had the second sunniest April on record, with 218.8 hours. As the figures won’t include today’s sunshine totals, there is scope for this figure to rise further, potentially challenging the April record set last year with 224.5 hours. The UK saw 48% more sunshine hours than April’s average figure, and every country in the UK saw at least 40% more sunshine than the long-term average. 

The dry and frosty conditions have provided challenges for the county’s gardeners, according to Chief Horticulturist at the Royal Horticultural Society, Guy Barter. He said: “Considerable damage has been experienced in many gardens with flowers such as camellia and magnolias being scorched. Watering before sowing and after planting are now necessary, but after such a wet autumn and winter there is plenty of water lower down in the soil that established plants can access.” 

Growers are being advised to keep tender plants inside for now, or to cover with cloches or horticultural fleece if they do need to go out, as there remains a risk of frost ahead for many.