Planes, rains and automobiles: Bank Holiday washout forecast as getaway gets underway

Friday and Saturday set for torrential downpours as August bank holiday getaway begins...

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The Independent Online

In keeping with the finest British traditions the August Bank Holiday weekend weather is set to be wet.

With around 14 million people set to take to the roads for an end-of-summer getaway, families would be advised to pack an umbrella as the mixed meteorlogical conditions look set to play havoc with holiday plans.

The Bank Holiday will kick off in a somewhat soggier manner than expected as a band of torrential rain arrives and looks set to soak parts of the country throughout Friday evening and Saturday. Showers or longer spells of rain are likely, with thunder a possibility.

According to forecasters central and eastern areas are likely to see the worst of the rain.

Music fans preparing for the Reading and Leeds festivals will be subject to a significant helping of mud with their tunes and have been advised to take wet-weather gear.

The weather will start to improve on Sunday, however, with the rain dissipating throughout the day and being replaced by fine and sunny weather in some areas.

The south east of England is likely to remain changeable however with forecasters predicting it will be wet and cloudy with a north easterly wind and further showers or heavier spells of rain.

Monday is likely to be the best of the days with an area of high pressure bringing with it warmer and more settled weather.

Despite the changeable conditions, temperatures throughout the weekend are likely to remain in the low 20s for most of the country with some areas in the south seeing 23C or 24C.

Forecasters have suggested that those in search of fine weather should go west.

Matt Dobson, a forecaster for MeteoGroup, the weather arm of the Press Association, said: "It's really an east-west split in the weather on Saturday, where west is definitely best.

"In England, Wales and Scotland there will be sunny spells and generally dry weather in western areas, whereas in eastern areas it will be cloudy with outbreaks of rain."

Around 250,000 passengers are expected to pass through Stansted airport over the weekend with 125,000 departing and 125,000 arriving.

A spokesman said: “People are still booking flights so the numbers are increasing day by day. Southern Spain, Turkey and the new Aegean Airlines service to Athens are proving to be the popular destinations.”

Motorists are advised to expect a large volume of traffic on the roads this weekend - in particular tomorrow morning and Monday evening.