This is why February has been so warm - but how long will it last?

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The past week has seen a rise in temperatures unusual for this time of year, accompanied by bright skies and mostly dry weather.

But what has caused this sudden climb in temperatures this month and how long is it set to last?

The past week has seen a rise in temperatures unusual for this time of year, accompanied by bright skies and mostly dry weather.

The past week has seen a rise in temperatures unusual for this time of year, accompanied by bright skies and mostly dry weather.

Three factors causing increase in temperatures

Grahame Madge, Met Office Meteorologist, explains that there are three key factors which have caused the rise in temperatures over the past weeks.

Mr Madge says that an “area of high pressure” over the past couple of weeks has caused a dome-like impact on the temperature, trapping the warm air in and subsequently creating settled conditions.

These settled conditions have allowed more sunshine to filter through to the ground after any fog and mist have subsided.

The pressure system also circulates the air in a clockwise direction, which, as a result, has drawn a plume of warm air from the Canary Islands.

The third factor is due to the lack of rain recently, as dry soil warms up more quickly than wet soil and this has therefore allowed temperatures to climb.

‘An iconic weather threshold’

The Met Office has recorded temperatures of plus 20C in some areas recently, which as Mr Madge explains is an “iconic threshold” for a winter temperature.

This unusually warm weather also starkly contrasts last year’s Beast from the East, which saw below freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall.

Mr Madge expands on this contrast, explaining that this shows “how much variation you can get in the weather”.

Is this warm weather set to last?

For those who favour this winter warmth, the good news is that temperatures are set to stay relatively mild, but weather conditions are set to become more unsettled, with less sunshine and more rain and wind.

Although March is quickly approaching, meteorologically marking the start of spring, Mr Madge points out that this doesn’t necessarily mean there will be no cool weather, with a transition towards more Atlantic dominated weather in the coming month.

The jet stream will cause rain and wind to hit various areas of the UK on Thursday (28 Feb), with Northern Ireland and Scotland set to see potential stormy conditions on Saturday (2 March), explains Mr Madge.

Although temperatures will still remain higher than the typical February peak of 7 to 8C, the mixture of sunshine and blustery weather will mark a transition from one period of weather to another.