UK weather: Scorching July makes way for soggy start to August this weekend

Silver lining for visitors to Commonwealth Games as rain in Scotland due to clear up by closing ceremony

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The Independent Online

It may only be first day of August, but the scorching highs enjoyed throughout July, one of the sunniest summer months on record, are long gone, and rain is on its way.

Showers are expected to start late afternoon and early evening on Friday, with a lot of cloud bringing outbreaks of rain across western areas, from the south west of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, gradually creeping its way southwards to overtake the dry and warm weather. Scotland and Northern Ireland will experience sunny spells through scattered showers on and off during the day, the Met Office said.

Helen Chivers, a meteorologist at the Met Office, said Saturday’s weather will be the wettest, with cloud covering most of England and Wales in the morning and rain seen in the areas. The worst rain is likely to be seen across Wales and north western parts of England throughout the day, where there is a yellow severe weather warning for heavier outbreaks of rain.

All is not lost however, with sunshine expected to break through from lunchtime onwards across the Midlands, East Anglia and southern England, possibly stretching through to parts of Wales in the afternoon, too, Ms Chivers said. The weather in Scotland and Northern Ireland is expected to have a reverse effect, starting off bright with some sunshine, with cloud and rain moving in from the afternoon to the evening.

But temperatures will not pass the low 20s in most of England, with north western areas not hitting higher than 18 or 19 degrees.

It is a far cry from the heady heat of July, where temperatures hit more than 30C. Last month has been recorded as one of the top 10 sunniest and warmest Julys on record since 1910, according to Met Office statistics.

There is a silver lining to this weekend’s wet weather news, which lies in Sunday’s forecast. Temperatures are expected to creep up to the low to mid 20s with possible highs of 24 degrees, with England and Wales looking dry for the most part and seeing sunny spells on and off throughout the day, Ms Chivers said. The exception to this will be the north of England which could still have rain hanging on from Saturday night.

Scotland and Northern Ireland will see Sunday start with cloud and rain but this should clear up later in the day, which will be welcome news for spectators at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, where the closing ceremony will be taking place that night.

The rest of August’s weather is set to continue in the same vein, with the UK returning to what it recognises as “traditional summer weather”.

Ms Chivers said: “There will be changeable conditions throughout next week, with some good, dry and bright spells, with warm sunshine and a chance of showery rain coming in from the West from time to time.

“Beyond this, for the second half of August we’re not expecting any prolonged dry and sunny hot weather, nor are we looking at any prolonged wet weather, either, it will be traditional British summer weather.”