Q: What do Malta, Athens and Barcelona have in common? A: They’re colder than Suffolk!

SUFFOLK: Just last week there was frost in some parts of Suffolk.

But with a quick flick of Mother Nature’s switch, our county is now basking in a heatwave!

Summer-like conditions brought the mercury rising with temperatures yesterday soaring to a balmy 22 Celsius (71.6 Fahrenheit), the highest of the year so far.

It meant it was warmer in Suffolk than in Malta, Athens and Barcelona.

Thousands of sun worshippers flocked to Suffolk’s promenades and parks to lap up the unseasonally warm conditions, which are set to continue for the next week at least. They took to the promenade at Felixstowe and Ipswich’s Waterfront and Christchurch Park to soak up the sun.

But it was even warmer in Santon Downham on the Suffolk/Norfolk border, where the mercury shot up to 23.5C (74.3F), netting the village the warmest April 6 temperatures on record.

Chris Bell, weather at Norwich-based Weatherquest, said: “I think this would officially be the warmest day in Suffolk this year. We made it close to 20C (68F) a week ago but this is easily the warmest day so far.

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“We have an area of high pressure that’s down across France and that’s been heading northwards and pushing cloud out of the way.”

The forecaster said the dry spell would continue for at least the next week but that temperatures would not be as high.

He added: “The bigger story on the broader scale is how dry it’s been; March was one of the driest for a long time.

“And that’s going to continue for the next five or seven days at least but temperatures will not be as warm as Wednesday, the wind direction will change so the top temperature are more likely to be 16C (60.8F) or 17C (62.6F) rather than 20C (68F) or 22C (71.6F).”

April usually struggles to get above 12C (54F) but after the driest March in more than a century, temperatures have shot up.

The highest recorded April temperature stands at 29.4C (85C), while on the same day last year the country saw maximums of just 15C (59F).

n The warm winds from the south brought in some of our great summer visitors. Swallows swept in after their long journey from Africa and were seen over the Trimley area and other early arrivals were also reported.

n What do you think of this warm weather? Send us your sunny photos. Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@evening star.co.uk