UK

Bank Holiday Weekend Weather Is A Dodgy Mixture Of Rain And Shine

21/08/2014 16:16 BST | Updated 21/08/2014 16:59 BST
Philip Toscano/PA Wire
Traffic drives through a flooded road in Lewisham in south east London as a third of a month's rain could fall in just a few hours today as torrential downpours and thunderstorms hit parts of the UK.

When discussing plans for the bank holiday, the inevitable question on people's lips is sure to be: "Is it going to rain?"

So, as we approach the last public holiday across England and Wales before Christmas, will you be left reaching for your barbecue tongs or your winter wooly?

Luckily, most places will enjoy some sunshine during the Bank Holiday weekend before the weather deteriorates rapidly from Sunday evening onwards, forecasters have said.

There will be a few showers on Saturday, with the heaviest in the east, the Met Office said with many places due to enjoy some sunshine from the west.

uk sun

Get out the suncream this weekend

The good weather should last through much of Sunday, though an area of low pressure moving in from the Atlantic may bring some rain and stronger winds to western areas later in the day.

Conditions for Bank Holiday Monday look rather more unsettled, with rain and wind affecting many areas, though some parts of eastern England may have a mostly dry day until later.

Chief Meteorologist Martin Young said: "We are expecting a good deal of dry weather this weekend before an area of low pressure moves across the UK by Monday.

"It is likely that Sunday will have the best of the dry and bright weather, with rain and brisk winds affecting many places on Monday."

uk rain

Traffic drives through a flooded road in Lewisham last week

Matt Dobson, senior forecaster with MeteoGroup, said: "On Saturday we expect to see sunshine and scattered showers.

"A good place to keep the brolly handy will be across northern England, down to Lincolnshire and Yorkshire in the east, where there could be some thundery downpours.

"Sunday is looking good, but Monday is not - there is a lot of rain to come.

"Anyone hoping to dodge the rain should be in north east England or north and eastern Scotland, they should be quite dry.

"Temperatures are going to be a few degrees below the average for this time of year, and the nights are going to be fairly chilly - on Friday and Saturday night, it could fall to 2 or 3C, that's six to eight degrees cooler than normal.

"On Monday, though it will be rainy, we should see milder air trying to push through, and by Tuesday, things should be starting to get back to normal temperature-wise, though there will still be some rain about."

James Berresford, chief executive of tourist organisation VisitEngland, said many will be holidaying at home this weekend - including at festivals including Reading and Leeds.

reading festival

Reading and Leeds festivals kick off this weekend

"There are four million Brits planning a holiday trip in England this weekend which is testament to the fantastic product on offer in England.

"With an enormous amount going on this weekend at our world class indoor and outdoor attractions and a host of events and festivals happening across the country, there is still time to plan a last minute short break or day trip in England to enjoy, whatever the weather."

The Met Office today confirmed that the period from January to July this year was the warmest such period for those months in the UK since records began in 1910.

It was also the third equal wettest such period for those months.

So far, not including 2014, seven of the UK's warmest years on record, and four of the five wettest years on record, have all occurred since 2000.

Bob Ward, policy and communications director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at LSE, who had analysed the figures which the Met Office confirmed, said: "These figures are further evidence of the impact of climate change on the UK.

"This should increase the urgency of UK politicians to join international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and take measures to make us more resilient, such as boosting flood defences."

Met Office spokesman Dan Williams said July was the eighth month in a row which had seen warmer than average temperatures in the UK.

The seven month period concerned was not one of the Met Office's "standard reporting periods", and he added: "It doesn't tell us how 2014 will finish in the record books, we have five months of data to add, and a lot can change."