Drivers in Britain were today told to brace for the worst bank holiday weekend traffic to hit the roads in six years. The RAC warned that 22 million car journeys are expected with the UK set for a pleasant bank holiday weekend as temperatures hit 70F (21C), although forecasters did warn the country to watch
Drivers in Britain were today told to brace for the worst bank holiday weekend traffic to hit the roads in six years.
The RAC warned that 22 million car journeys are expected with the UK set for a pleasant bank holiday weekend as temperatures hit 70F (21C), although forecasters did warn the country to watch out for showers in some areas.
Motoring experts expect eight million more journeys this bank holiday weekend compared to last year, and predict problems tomorrow afternoon when people going on short breaks clash with normal work-related journeys.
The weather is expected to be generally good, with England, Wales and eastern Scotland set to enjoy plenty of sunshine today and 73F (23C) conditions in the South East, although there will be showers in Northern Ireland.
People sunbathe on the beach at Brighton in East Sussex today as temperatures remain high for much of the country
Two people go for a walk along the promenade at Brighton today as the country experiences above-average temperatures
A man sunbathes on the pebbled beach at Brighton today amid the warm weather conditions in southern England
A woman walks in the morning sunshine to vote today at a polling station at West Blatchington Windmill near Hove, Sussex
Tomorrow will be cloudier and slightly cooler across most of England and Wales, with some light showers in the South West, while Scotland will remain cloudy with patchy rain and Northern Ireland could also see drizzle.
Getaways will peak on Saturday with an estimated 6.6million trips planned, up from 3.8million last year, followed by bank holiday Monday with 5.6million, up from 2.9million, and tomorrow with 5.3million, up from 4.5million.
Met Office deputy chief meteorologist Chris Bulmer said: ‘This upcoming bank holiday weekend will start off fine and warm with sunny spells in the south, but for northern parts of the UK it’ll be cooler, cloudier and breezy with some rain at times.
‘At the moment Saturday looks to be one of the better days of the weekend with the promise of sunshine for most, whereas Sunday will be cloudier with outbreaks of rain moving in from the west.
‘By Monday this rain and cloud should clear with a return to sunny spells and the odd shower in places, feeling cooler across the country in the fresh westerly breeze.’
On Saturday, a frontal system will edge across northern Britain from the west, bringing patchy rain, although forecasters say that elsewhere it is expected to remain mostly dry with some sunny spells.
Increasingly persistent rain will then push east across Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England overnight, while persistent rain will continue across Scotland for much of Sunday, although most of England will stay dry.
Much of the next few days will be determined by the impact on Britain of stormy weather across North America, which has included tornadoes in the mid-west affecting the upper atmosphere.
Britain will enjoy a pleasant morning in most areas with temperatures up to 59F (15C) by 9am in the South East of England
Temperatures will remain above average for the time of year both today (left) and tomorrow (right) with 72F (22C) highs
Western Europe will see some warm sunshine tomorrow, but there will be thunderstorms in the east along with flash flooding
Most of England and Wales will experience a medium pollen count today (left) while the UV index will be high (right)
This is having an effect on the jet stream, a fast-flowing current of air high in the sky which dictates the flow of low pressure weather systems across the Atlantic towards Europe.
The jet stream will be pointed towards Britain by Saturday, which normally means more cloud, rain and cooler conditions in summer – but high pressure will still be relatively close, so it will not be a washout.
Met Office meteorologist Aidan McGivern said: ‘This time last year we were forecasting a sizzling bank holiday weekend with the jet stream well to the north of the UK. Somewhat different this year though.
‘The jet stream through the upcoming weekend actually dives south this weekend, but it won’t be a washout weekend by any means. There will be some showers around, but many places will be dry for much of the time.’
The hottest temperature of the year so far – which is unlikely to be beaten this weekend – has been 78.4F (25.8C), recorded at Treknow in Cornwall on April 19 and again on May 15 at Kinlochewe in the Scottish Highlands.
One month ago Britain was bathed in a record heatwave at Easter, with Easter Monday proving to be the hottest on record with 77F (25C) recorded at Heathrow and Northolt in West London and Wisley in Surrey.
The highest temperature for the late May bank holiday was 91F (32.8C) in Horsham, West Sussex, on May 29, 1944. Meterological summer begins on June 1, and the UK daytime average for the time of year is around 61F (16C).