This isn't normal
It is worth reminding ourselves that today's date is February 26th. The temperature in west Wales (Porthmadog) has been recorded at 20.8C (that's 69.4F in old money) - a new UK February record high. Closer to home it has been 20.7C in Teddington.
In such warm temperatures and under clear blue skies and unbroken sunshine I have been wearing just a t-shirt and shorts. Comfortably.
Because the number of Brimstone butterflies flying through and hanging about in our Banstead garden had been high, I thought I'd take a slow walk around the neighbouring streets - a vaguely circular walk of 90 minutes with no repetition of the route. I just strolled and counted butterflies. The results, for today's date, are staggering.
FIVE species (I've seen two on the same date in February before, but never more).
They were: Brimstone (32), Comma (2), Small Tortoiseshell (2, one on winter flowering heather, above), Red Admiral (1) and Peacock (1).
Needless to say, this is all most irregular.
STOP PRESS: Kew Gardens today recorded 21.2C - 70F - which is now the highest February (and Winter) temperature ever recorded in the UK.