Norfolk - as hot as Ibiza

Glorious warm sunshine, blue skies and not a hint of an angry rain cloud - it certainly felt like spring had sprung in Norfolk yesterday.The winter coats were off and an altogether sunnier outlook filled the air as people took advantage of the beautiful day and slipped on their summer gear a few months early.

Glorious warm sunshine, blue skies and not a hint of an angry rain cloud - it certainly felt like spring had sprung in Norfolk yesterday.

The winter coats were off and an altogether sunnier outlook filled the air as people took advantage of the beautiful day and slipped on their summer gear a few months early.

And the holiday mood was understandable as Norfolk soared to an incredible 17C, on a par with Naples, Ibiza and Los Angeles and leaving Athens, Madrid and Dubrovnik in the shade by several notches on the thermometer.

It was a very different forecast just over a year ago, as our graphic illustration of the unpredictability of the British weather shows.

Today, the daffodils and crocuses are in full bloom and it is warm enough to eat al fresco and not worry about scarves and gloves for another year.

But in early March 2006, the EDP reported a battle against the elements as Norfolk had a flurry of snow and shivered in temperatures as low as a biting minus 5C.

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Gritting lorries were out in force, schoolchildren were given a day off and traffic ground to a halt.

The balmy weather we have enjoyed since the weekend is set to continue for the rest of the week, with temperatures well above average for this time of year, but it appears we should enjoy it while we can.

Sadly, some ill-timed gloomy skies, showers and a nip in the air will be back with a vengeance on a day that cries out for a spot of sunshine - Mothering Sunday.

Steve Western, senior forecaster at Weatherquest at UEA, said it has been “exceptionally” warm for the time of year, but would soon turn grey and chilly again.

“The average for this time of year in Norfolk is nine degrees Celsius for top temperature, and the lowest, at night, is about two.

“Yesterday, Marham recorded 17, which was by far the warmest place, but we also had 14 and 15 elsewhere which is a good five to six degrees above average for the whole of March.

“Today we will be hitting between 13 and 15 degrees, which is very warm, and it's dry and bright.

“It's caused by the high pressure to the south-west; it is very mild.”

He added that it was inappropriate to talk about the possible effects of global warming, and that both March this year and last were considered normal.

“It is warmer than this time last year, but no records have been broken, and we cannot take the weather over just a few days and talk about climate change - we have to look at weeks, months and even years,” he said.

“It has been a very mild winter and it looks like continuing like this for the rest of the week, but I have to say that come Mothering Sunday it looks like the weather will be completely different - grey and cloudy with intermittent showers coming in from Saturday night in to Sunday, and Monday and Tuesday looks pretty rough.”