The warmest ever February day in Scotland has been recorded as unseasonably mild temperatures were experienced across the rest of the UK, the Met Office has confirmed.
Aboyne in Aberdeenshire saw the mercury rise to a maximum temperature of 18.3C yesterday afternoon. The peak beat the previous high of 17.9C, which was recorded in Aberdeen on 22 February 1897.
The maximum temperature of that day nearly 122 years ago was matched at 12:23pm yesterday in Aboyne.
By 1:39pm, the temperature had risen another 0.4C.
The Moray coast was also basking in the uncharacteristic warm weather.
Lossiemouth and Kinloss were among the towns hot on the heels of Aboyne in the temperature stakes.
Weather experts said the north-east corner of Scotland was experiencing a boost in temperatures from what is known as the Foehn effect.
It involves air warming as it moves up and over mountains. A spell of warm weather this weekend sweeping up from the continent is set to bring temperatures in other parts of the UK close to their own records for February.
There is the possibility of temperatures soaring 10C above the average for this time of year and the Met Office say they will top 18C this weekend.
The current record maximum temperature measured in the UK in February is 19.7C, which was set in London on 13 February 1998.
The Welsh record temperature for February was set at 18.6C in Powys in 1990.
The highest recorded in Northern Ireland was 17.8C in Bryansford back in 1998. Met Office forecaster Craig Snell said the mild weather was set to continue, but was unlikely to reach such a high in Scotland again this month.
He said: “Aboyne at just before 1:40pm this afternoon hit 18.3C.
“That beat the previous record of 17.9C way back in 1897.
“A few stations don’t report every hour, so it may or may not go up, but we can say it’s the warmest February day in Scotland on record.
“Over the next few days it’ll be very mild temperatures. Today is possibly the mildest for the next few days.
“It could be early next week until it’s as mild again, though whether we’ll see 18.3C is unlikely. So the mild theme is set to continue and it will be pleasantly spring-like through early next week.”
Fellow Met Office spokesman Richard Miles said “a lot would have to align” for the UK-wide record to be broken.
He said: “It is unlikely from what we are seeing at the moment.”
Temperatures are expected to climb to 13C in both Edinburgh and Glasgow today.
However, despite the unusually high temperatures, the south-east of England could still see some frost over the weekend.
Mr Miles said: “Everywhere is going to be having a mild weekend, although you might get some light frost in the south-east where the skies are clear.”
Western areas of the UK could experience patches of light rain, he added.
Looking forward to next week, the mild conditions seem likely to continue.
Mr Miles said: “It looks like it is going to be much the same sort of picture, at least until Tuesday.
“The first half of next week you are looking at dry and sunny spells. Everywhere it is looking pretty mild.”