UK weather: Temperatures to hit 19C on bank holiday weekend as parts of country to see ‘wall-to-wall sunshine’

UK set for mixed bag of sunshine and rain with temperatures hitting up to 19C

Andy Gregory
Saturday 30 April 2022 09:07
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UK weather: The latest Met Office forecast

Britain is set for a “mixed bag” of sunshine and rain over the bank holiday weekend, with temperatures potentially hitting 19C at their peak.

By Saturday afternoon, a “north-south divide” will emerge, with England and Wales enjoying “wall-to-wall sunshine”, and Scotland and Northern Ireland weathering somewhat wetter conditions, according to the Met Office.

But that contrast will “flip” on Sunday as the band of rain sinks southwards, at which point conditions should improve in Scotland and Northern Ireland, where bright spells will develop.

“I think most of us will see some rain at some point in the three days,” said Met Office meteorologist Craig Snell.

“I imagine that will be welcome for some people, as it’s been a very dry April for a good chunk of England at least. But I guess for anyone who’s off this weekend then it’s probably not the most welcomed of news. But it’s a mixed bag and there will be some decent weather around.”

On bank holiday Monday itself, the rain and cloud across England and Wales will clear to the south overnight and, after “a bit of a slow start” marked by considerable cloud cover, sunshine should eventually develop “right across the country”, Mr Snell said.

“A few showers will develop here and there but not everyone is going to see them and it will feel warmer once again”, the forecaster said, with highs in the south again climbing up to 17C or 18C, and to 16C in the north.

“So in England and Wales, probably, if you’re looking for wall-to-wall sunshine, Saturday’s going to be the day for you,” Mr Snell said. “For the northern half of the country, you’re probably looking at Sunday afternoon and Monday. This will be the better period.

“And in the south, Monday’s not looking too bad either – if you dodge a few showers.”

While temperatures could get close to 19C in some areas over the weekend, the mercury is “certainly” not expected to go higher, Mr Snell said.

“I think at the moment 18 is a safe bet,” he told The Independent. “If everything comes into line there is scope it could be a smidgeon higher but nothing to break any records. The record for the May Day bank holiday in the UK is 28.7C, so I think that’s safely going to stay.”

The mixed weekend is expected to precede a largely “benign” week notable mainly for its cloudiness.

But while next week should certainly bring more cloud and dampness than seen this week, any rainfall is expected remain light and will mainly focus in northern and western parts of the UK, according to Mr Snell.

There are “certainly no kind of heatwaves and real blue skies heading our way, but at the same time, certainly no wet and windy weather either”, Mr Snell said, adding: “So a bit of a benign week really … cloud more than anything is probably the main theme.”

Although the mild weather over the bank holiday is unlikely to impact travel across the UK, strike action and engineering works mean that some rail passengers will face disruption nonetheless.

TransPennine Express (TPE), which operates across northern England and into Scotland, urged passengers not to travel on Saturday or Sunday due to a walkout by conductors who are members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union.

The firm said it will only run “a very small number of services” on those days, due to the industrial action, which is part of a long-running dispute over pay and rosters.

Several rail lines will also be closed over the Early May bank holiday period as Network Rail carries out 550 upgrade projects, although the operator said that more than 95 per cent of its lines will be unaffected.

“While the majority of our network will be open for business as usual, we're asking passengers who are planning to use the railway over the Early May bank holiday to check their journey in advance,” said the organisation’s chief executive Andrew Haines.

“Teams across Network Rail will be delivering £70m worth of upgrades, helping to make the railway more reliable and fit for the future.”

And UK roads are expected to be quieter than normal for a bank holiday weekend due to Easter falling just a fortnight ago and the half-term break looming, with high fuel prices appearing to have increasing impact upon people’s travel plans.

Monday is likely to see the most traffic, with 3.3 million leisure journeys planned, according to the RAC.

A survey of 850 motorists carried out by the firm suggested that 14 per cent will not plan to make a road journey for a day trip or holiday over the long weekend because of the cost of fuel – compared with just 6 per cent who did not drive over Easter for the same reason.

Filling a typical 55-litre family car with petrol is nearly £20 more expensive compared with 12 months ago, while the cost of a tank of diesel has risen by more than £25.

Additional reporting by PA

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