What a scorcher - with the sun expected to continue today

Sun and high temperature on Hartlepool Headland. Youngster James Skinner, 3
Sun and high temperature on Hartlepool Headland. Youngster James Skinner, 3

Sunseekers were treated to a scorcher yesterday as temperatures topped 20C.

Families enjoyed the coast of Hartlepool and East Durham to enjoy the hottest day of the year so far, which passed 20C.

Two people on the Headland with the Marina in the background.

Two people on the Headland with the Marina in the background.

It is hotter than the average April temperatures for the Costa del Sol, Barcelona and Athens.

Nationwide it was expected to be the warmest April day in nearly 70 years, just behind the hottest April day on record of 29.4C (85F) in 1949.

The hot weather far surpasses the average maximum temperature for April, which sits at 11.4C (53F).

The summery spell comes as a result of warm air from the Azores, off the coast of Portugal, being dragged up towards the UK by the combined efforts of an area of low pressure over the Atlantic and high pressure over western Europe.

Sun and high temperature on Hartlepool Headland. Youngster James Skinner, 3 with grandfather Peter Cook

Sun and high temperature on Hartlepool Headland. Youngster James Skinner, 3 with grandfather Peter Cook

Weather forecasters are expecting another fine and mainly sunny day today, however, it will be a little less warm than yesterday.

Saturday will be generally bright and quite warm with some sunshine although North Sea coasts are likely to stay much cooler. Later in the day and through Saturday night, there will be the growing risk of some heavy, thundery showers.

Further showers are likely on Sunday albeit with sunshine at times, with a cooler and breezier day to come on Monday with occasional rain.

Competitors in the London Marathon on Sunday can expect hot and humid conditions with a forecast of between 21C (70F) and 23C (73F), meteorologist Alex Burkill said.

Sun and high temperature on Hartlepool Marina

Sun and high temperature on Hartlepool Marina

“There could be a shower but it’s not very likely. It’s not great conditions for running. In fact if any showers do come they might be very welcome,” he said.

Some hayfever sufferers could be affected by high pollen counts, he added.

A man enjoys the rays down on the Marina.

A man enjoys the rays down on the Marina.

Sun and high temperatures on Hartlepool's Headland.

Sun and high temperatures on Hartlepool's Headland.