Fine bank holiday heralds arrival of summer

Summer is back in season, with temperatures expected to rise as high as 29C (84F) this weekend.

A bright bank holiday yesterday brought out the crowds to national parks and the coast. Jeremy Plester, a spokesman for PA WeatherCentre, said: "There has been some drizzle over the Hebrides but that's about it. Nearly all the Midlands, central and south-east England, and northern England started with quite a lot of sunshine, although some cloud appeared later.

"Some temperatures have been above average for the time of year - around 20C in London - but in the West Country there has been more cloud and temperatures nearer 12C and 13C."

A Met Office spokesman said that temperatures later this week would hit 24C to 25C - a return to the good weather enjoyed in April, which was the warmest since 1987. But there could still be rain in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Mr Plester said: "We are nearing some much more summery weather. We could be looking at 28C or 29C by next weekend. It looks like the start of summer, but it's uncertain how long that will last."

On the roads, police said there was "considerable disruption" on the M25 in Essex yesterday after a man died in a car crash. A Ford Escort overturned in a collision with a lorry, killing the driver from north London. Two women and a man in the car suffered minor injuries, Essex Police said. They closed the clockwise section of the road between junctions 27 and 28 for about five hours. Drivers on the M11, which joins the M25 at junction 27, also suffered delays when adjoining roads were closed.

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