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Image of the Week: A Rare Clear View of Europe

2 Apr 2012

Just over a month ago the images we were seeing of the British Isles were cloud covered and snowy. Here we have a very rare image showing most of Europe remarkably free from cloud cover.

Europe without cloud cover (JPG, 698 Kb)  

Europe without cloud cover
Credit: EUMETSAT/ Met Office.

Last week we enjoyed unseasonably warm weather. There has been a patch of high pressure over the UK which has given us settled conditions, light south to south-easterly winds and plenty of sunshine. Normally, average maximum temperatures for March edge into double figures across the south of the country, staying cooler further north. However on Sunday 25 March there was a new record high for March temperatures in Scotland as the temperature reached 22.8°C at Fyvie Castle in Aberdeenshire with the rest of the country experiencing similar warm weather throughout the week.

We seem now to be slowly returning to the colder, wetter weather we would normally expect around Easter. Snow in Scotland and across the peaks of Britain may seem like an extreme change but snow is actually more common at Easter than it is at Christmas in the British Isles. So whilst it may be too early yet to see this image as the start of the summer we can still appreciate this spell of extraordinary weather whilst it lasts.

If you would like to read more about the weather we have been experiencing over the last few weeks, visit the Met Office blog.  Weather data is supplied to the Met Office from a system of EUMETSAT meteorological satellites which operate all day, every day of the year. UK companies have been involved in developing MetOp-A and the Meteosat series of satellites which help to forecast weather and contribute to our long term records of climate change.