Anyone jetting off for some romantic winter sun this week could have saved their cash and stayed at home instead.
A flow of sub-tropical air is set to make Britain warmer than parts of the Mediterranean over the coming days as temperatures hit 15C (59F) by Valentine’s Day tomorrow, which is more than double the seasonal average.
Temperatures are set to soar in most areas of the UK thanks to the arrival of milder air originating from the Azores – and there is due to be plenty of sunshine, although western parts are likely to be cloudier.
Early signs of spring at Welford Park in Berkshire yesterday as snowdrops cover the woodland floor in a beautiful white carpet
Crocuses bloom at Royal Victoria Park in Bath yesterday where mild weather has caused an early bloom of the spring flower
Joggers running through in St James’s Park on a sunny and mild day in London yesterday
Conditions this week will be warmer than Athens, which will have a far chillier 8C (46F), while Madrid is predicted to reach just 13C (54F). The highest UK temperatures are set to be in Scotland.
However, Cardiff, London and parts of central and southern England could also reach 12C (54F). There is also a chance of other areas such as North Wales and parts of North East England reaching 15C, the Met Office said.
That temperature equals the forecast later this week for Rome, Malaga and even Nice on the French Riviera. The conditions are set to be the warmest since December 2, when Kew in South West London recorded 15.9C (60.6F).
Luke Miall of the Met Office said: ‘The really mild conditions are due to an area of high pressure dominating to the south-east of the UK. It is drawing up a flow of south-westerly air from a sub-tropical direction, from the Azores.
‘The airflow is creating very mild conditions across large parts of the country, which are likely to last for the rest of the coming week. Some areas will see temperatures well above average.’
Typical temperatures for northern England, north Wales and Scotland – where the warmest temperatures are due to occur – hover around 6C to 7C (43F to 45F).
However, the maximum predicted over the coming days is unlikely to beat the February record of 19.7C (67.46F), set at Greenwich in South East London in 1998.
The warmest February temperature in recent years was 18.3C (64.9F) at Kew Gardens on February 20, 2017.
Mr Miall said the weather is likely to change through Friday into Saturday, when a cold front is due to move south eastwards, bringing patchy rain.
‘It is likely to introduce slightly fresher air during Saturday but the weather is likely to turn milder again on Sunday,’ he added.
The Met Office predicts a mixture of mostly drier weather in the south and east but more breezy conditions with outbreaks of rain in the North and West.
Milder temperatures are due to continue in the south, with cooler conditions further north. Last year, there was also a very mild spell around the middle of the month, with 14.2C (57.6F) recorded on February 19 in Cardiff.
But days later, the Beast from the East brought freezing conditions and heavy snowfall. The Met Office is not predicting any imminent cold snap this year, however.