Start of British Summer Time

Clear skies for start of British Summer Time

26 March 2017 10:20 UTC and 12:00 UTC

Start of British Summer Time
Start of British Summer Time

The first day of official British Summer Time brought blue skies and above average, warm temperatures to Britain and the UK on 26 March 2017.

Last Updated

27 January 2022

Published on

25 March 2017

By Ian Mills (EUMETSAT)

The clocks went forward one hour on 26 March 2017 marking the start of British Summer Time. This year this was actually reflected in the weather and in the UK it was a fine sunny day.

According to Met Office figures parts of Scotland had the highest temperatures and most hours of Sun. Aviemore, in the Scottish Highlands, reached 19.9 °C, not quite beating its March record of 20 ° C in 2012, but nine degrees above the average March maximum. Kirkwall on the Orkney Islands had 12 hours of Sun.

The Sentinel-3A Ocean Colour image from 10:20 UTC (Figure 1) shows most of the British Isles mainly covered by a thin veil of cirrus. You can also see some low cloud to the north and east and the snow over the Norwegian mountains.

 Sentinel-3A OLCI, 26 March 10:20 UTC
Figure 1: Sentinel-3A OLCI, 26 March 10:20 UTC

Image comparison

Natural Colour RGB image, 26 March 12:00 UTC compare1

Figure 2: Comparison of Meteosat-10 HRV and Natural Colour images showing the lack of cloud cover on the British Isles.

On the Meteosat-10 High Resolution Visible image (Figure 2, left panel) only the thicker cirrus over the British Isles can be seen. The thinner cirrus is nearly transparent. Once again there was low cloud around the Western Isles, in the eastern North Sea and the Kattegat.

The Meteosat-10 Natural Colour RGB image (Figure 2, right panel) also shows the mainly clear skies over the British Isles. The snow over the Norwegian mountains is cyan in this image, as is the thicker cirrus due to the ice particles. Where there was low cloud there are areas where the cloud has a deeper pink colour, especially in the Kattegat, suggesting that this was fog.

 Meteosat-10 Dust RGB, 26 March 12:00 UTC
Figure 3: Meteosat-10 Dust RGB, 26 March 12:00 UTC

The Meteosat-10 Dust RGB image (Figure 3) shows just how much cirrus there was in the skies over the British Isles. It shows thin cirrus in black and thick cirrus in a dark red/orange colour.

Cirrus in a thin veil covered most of England with thick cirrus over eastern England, Wales and western Scotland. France and Germany were also covered by a thin veil of cirrus.

This cirrus was unlikely to be thick enough to spoil a sunny day on the first day of British Summer Time.

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