Published: 08:46, 30 March 2021
| Updated: 16:03, 30 March 2021
Temperatures are set to soar across the county again today - with tomorrow expected to be even hotter.
The mercury is set to remain in the 20s across Kent both today and on Wednesday, when the Met Office predicts temperatures could rise above 24C for the first time in more than half-a-century.
Across the county yesterday people made the most of the sunny weather and the easing of lockdown rules, which means groups of up to six, or two households, are now able to socialise in parks and gardens while outdoor sports facilities can reopen.
The lifting of some restrictions saw golfers return to the fairways and swimmers take the plunge in outdoor pools as temperatures rose.
According to the Met Office, the mercury reached 20.4C at St James’s Park in central London and Writtle in Essex on Monday – the highest temperature recorded in the UK this year.
Temperatures are set to climb further above average and could yet top 24C on Wednesday in an area covering London, East Anglia and the East Midlands, the Met Office said.
Temperatures in March have not gone above 24C since March 29, 1968, when 25.6C was recorded in Mepal in Cambridgeshire.
Steven Keates, a Met Office meteorologist, said: “If we do get above 24 it will be the highest UK March temperature in 53 years. It seems a reasonable chance that’s going to happen.
“It’s an exceptionally warm spell of weather with potential for some records to be challenged.”
Mr Keates said conditions would turn “cooler” through Thursday ahead of the arrival of the Easter weekend.
The Prime Minister has urged people to remain cautious as the relaxation of lockdown measures coincides with the balmy weather.
Boris Johnson acknowledged Monday was a “big day” for many people as they could reunite in socially-distanced friend and family groups outdoors for the first time in weeks.
He said he hoped people would take advantage of the “beautiful weather” to play sport or exercise, while also emphasising the country should still “proceed with caution”.
“I know how much Government has asked of the people in the last year, but I also know how magnificently – incredible patience and fortitude – people have responded,” he told a Downing Street press conference on Monday.
“It’s my view, overwhelmingly, people are determined to continue to do that and they do understand the need for caution.”
England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, said there was a “high likelihood” cases would rise as lockdown restrictions were steadily lifted under the Government’s road map.
He added, however, that the impact should be “modest” if people continued to follow social-distancing guidelines.
“If people stick to social distancing rules and they are outside, the risk of transmission is massively lower than if they are very close together and inside,” Prof Whitty said.
“Provided people stick to outdoors and at a distance if it’s people who are not in their households, the impact in terms of an uptick should be modest.”
Separately, Mr Johnson, along with 23 world leaders including Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel, wrote in The Daily Telegraph and other papers across the world about the need to form a “new international treaty for pandemic preparedness and response”, adding: “The Covid-19 pandemic has been a stark and painful reminder that nobody is safe until everyone is safe.”