Friday, 14 May 2010

Weather watch: Is this the breakthrough?

Warm weather is set to make a surprise return to many parts of Britain this weekend as the country finally shakes off more than two weeks of Arctic winds. This looks like the moment to start planting out the frost-tender young vegetables that have been growing in our greenhouses and poly-tunnels for the last 4-6 weeks. 
We have been hardening-off trays of runner beans, several types of French Climbing Beans, Shell Beans, Sweet Corn, Pak Choi, Spinach Beet, and oodles of sweet peas. In addition, our tunnels are still half filled with overwintering tender perennial flowers, and it will be good over the next few weeks to see that space reclaimed for vegetables as the flowers move outside to their summer positions. Lots of work coming up!
Early and 2nd early potatoes still protected by fleece this morning

Temperatures are expected to rise significantly over Saturday and Sunday, peaking at 68F (20C) in London and the south east on Monday. The rest of the country will also bask in sunshine with temperatures in the early and mid sixties widely expected right through until Tuesday.
Bitterly cold winds from the north in recent days have brought unusually low temperatures for this time time of year. Last weekend parts of Scotland saw overnight temperatures plummet as low as 21.2F (-6C) when the average low May is 35.6F (2C).
Day time highs, meanwhile, have barely reached 50F (10C) in many parts of England and Wales during the past week. It had been thought the cold weather would last until well into next week.
But now Met Office forecasters predict that a shift in wind direction this weekend, with warmer breezes coming from the Atlantic and south west, will bring warmer temperatures.

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