Many parts of northern Europe have been basking in warm spring sunshine. Many will hold onto that sunshine for much of this week, but subtle changes in wind direction mean that the warmth will ease for many.

The settled weather has been thanks to a large area of high pressure, otherwise known as the Azores High. This strengthened and drifted over northwestern Europe nearly two weeks ago. High pressure acts as a lid on the atmosphere.

This means that air near the ground is unable to rise, cool and condense into clouds, and eventually bring rain or showers. The skies remain clear, and at this time of year clear skies means warm sunshine.

Hence we saw some of the warmest weather of the year so far for parts of northwest Europe. A high of 25 Celsius was recorded in St James's Park in central London last week.

The April average is 13C and temperatures were back down nearer that mark by the weekend. Incidentally, London’s highest April temperature was 29 degrees recorded back in 1949.

The cooler air has also spread across the near continent. Overnight temperatures in northern Germany falling close enough to freezing for frost warnings to be issued.

It will become a little warmer over the next few days, but the area of high pressure is then expected to weaken as it slips further north and east.

By the weekend cooler, windier and ultimately wetter weather will roll in from the Atlantic bringing spring showers back to the British Isles and northwest France.

Source: Al Jazeera