Warm weekend will be relief for farmers and retailers after wet spell

Some areas could even see temperatures reach 30C on Friday.

George Lithgow
Monday 14 August 2023 16:21 BST
Dog walkers brave the wet weather at Longsands beach in Tynemouth (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Dog walkers brave the wet weather at Longsands beach in Tynemouth (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Soaring temperatures next weekend after the recent wet spell will be “very welcome”, farmers, retailers and coastal destinations have said.

A yellow rain warning was in place for northern England and Wales on Monday, but rising temperatures at the weekend could bring a glimpse of summer.

From Wednesday, temperatures will reach the mid-20s for much of the southern half of the UK, likely to peak on Friday and Saturday, according to the Met Office.

Some areas could even see temperatures reach 30C on Friday.

The prospect of a warm spell is good news for retailers in tourist areas, such as Katy Alston, 55, who runs Pinks Parlour near the beach in Bognor Regis, West Sussex, and relies on visitors for her income.

Known as Mrs Whippy to her customers, Ms Alston is president of the Ice Cream Alliance trade association.

The former nurse, who has been in the ice cream trade for 20 years, told the PA news agency her parlour’s turnover could increase “10-fold” if the sun comes out at the weekend.

Ms Alston said: “Once the sun shines, that’s it, days take off.

“Today I’ve had four phone calls from members of the alliance because they’ve all got rain, but that’s probably the first time in weeks.

“We can’t really plan the week until we know the sun’s coming out.

It's a great sign when our floor is all sandy from everyone coming in off the beach, which makes a refreshing change from puddles and umbrellas

Katy Alston, ice cream parlour owner

“Our turnover could increase 10-fold. We’ve got to increase our supplies to keep up with that.

“Upping the temperature a bit will really help.

“Come the end of the week when that good weather comes, everyone will be down at the beach having a lovely swim in the sea, kayaking, paddleboarding, crabbing.

“It’s a great sign when our floor is all sandy from everyone coming in off the beach, which makes a refreshing change from puddles and umbrellas.”

A hot dry spell will also come as a relief to farmers who have been prevented from harvesting their crops by the miserable weather.

National Farmers’ Union deputy president Tom Bradshaw, who grows a range of crops in north-east Essex, told PA that Monday’s rain had made harvesting “even more difficult”.

He said: “It’s been a very challenging harvest from a weather perspective. What we need is some hot, dry weather to enable harvest to pick up speed.

“This morning’s rain will have been less than helpful, but a few days of dry weather would be very beneficial for harvest.

“The quality in the field is really badly deteriorating because the crops are supposed to be being combined at the moment.

“If we get some dry weather at least we’ll be able to get them in.

“We’ve had lots of promises of dry weather which, certainly for the South West, have never really materialised.

“Hopefully the next few days of sun does come through.”

Bernard Donoghue, director of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, which has the National Trust, English Heritage and zoos among its members, said many outdoor attractions are looking forward to an improvement in the weather.

He told PA: “Sunny, warm summer days massively benefit seaside destinations and rural locations who earn most of their income during the summer months.

“That summer spend is crucial to help them get through the quieter winter period.

“Indoor attractions, especially heritage sites, museums and galleries in cities, have experienced a very good summer mostly prompted by new exhibitions, the return of overseas visitors, UK families holidaying at home this summer, and great deals for family budgets.”

A spokesperson for Visit Isle of Wight told PA: “It may have been a bit of a grey start to the summer holidays – and there’s plenty to enjoy on the Isle of Wight whatever the weather – but some very welcome sunshine will certainly bring big smiles to everyone who is visiting.

“The Isle of Wight is known as the sunniest place in England and with the forecast looking great from later this week, there will be much to enjoy with something for everyone, from beaches, cycling, walking, fantastic attractions and so many events.”

Deputy chief meteorologist Dan Harris said a “general warming trend” is expected through much of the week.

He added: “Whilst some southern areas are already likely to reach the mid 20s by Wednesday, it’s not until Thursday that the warmer weather will become more widespread.

“We are likely to see the warmest weather on Friday and Saturday, with low to mid-20s widely and a peak of 29C most probable in the South East. At this stage the odd 30C here on Friday cannot be ruled out.

“A frontal system arriving into the West and South West later on Friday, which could be preceded by thunderstorms, does complicate matters somewhat, after a very muggy night in the South East overnight into Saturday.”

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