Sunshine has finally brightened up East Lancashire as the area looks forward this week to possibly the warmest day of the year so far.

Parts of England saw temperatures reach 18C (64.4F) yesterday with Met Office forecasters remarking on an ‘exceptionally mild’ start to March. But it is not until Wednesday and Thursday that the weather is expected to really pick up across our region.

Temperatures for Wednesday are predicted to be around 13C (55F), rising to 15C (59F) the following day. However, the outlook is for a cloudy and cooler Friday, rain on Saturday and an indifferent Sunday.

Average temperatures in early March are usually 12C (53.6F). The milder conditions this year have seen strawberry harvests occur a week earlier than in 2013.