UK temperatures top 29C in hottest April day since 1949

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Media captionExplained: Why this isn't a heatwave (yet)

Temperatures have soared to over 29C in parts of London, making it the warmest April day for nearly 70 years.

The unusually warm weather across the UK is the result of low pressure over the Atlantic and high pressure over western Europe drawing in warm air.

Thursday's high of 29.1C was recorded at St James's Park in central London during the afternoon, making it the hottest UK day in April since 1949.

The average maximum temperature for the UK in April is 11.9C.

The highest recorded temperature for this month was 29.4C back in 1949 in London.

Pollen levels are high throughout much of the UK, with BBC Weather warning it could be "uncomfortable" for hayfever sufferers.

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Media captionWeather forecast: Warm outlook for most of UK

Runners in Sunday's London Marathon have been warned to expect hot weather, with suggestions it could be the hottest race on record.

Event director Hugh Brasher said contingency plans were already in place which included providing extra water supplies along the route for drinking and for competitors to douse themselves with.

The heat caused the cancellation of a horse race at Cheltenham but those over shorter distances went ahead.

The high temperatures come on the same day as Debenhams blamed freezing weather in late February for a fall in sales and profits.

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Image copyright PA
Image caption These men soaked up the rays at Richmond riverside in south-west London
Image copyright PA
Image caption In Cambridge, people took to punting along the River Cam
Image copyright PA
Image caption While a man and his dog enjoy the sunshine out of the water in Blackpool
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Image caption Three-year-old Jayden enjoys a cooling ice cream
Image copyright Zoological Society of London/PA Wire
Image caption London Zoo did its best to keep everyone cool, like this squirrel monkey

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