Weather brings holiday heaven, but near-drought conditions

Katy Holland

Britain is in the middle of the hottest, driest spring since records began 100 years ago.

But while the warm dry weather is bringing bliss for holidaymakers, there are already major concerns about the ongoing near-drought conditions in the South and South East of England.

Despite the prospect of showers over the next few days, forecasters say there is still no sign of the heavy rain needed to ease these conditions.

Temperatures are expected to reach 75F (24C) this week - and the Bank Holiday weekend will be sunny too.

According to Met Office figures, April was the warmest since records began in 1910, while March was warmer than usual.

If temperatures in the second half of this month remain high, the average temperature of the three months will be around 9.2c (48.6f) – the hottest on record.

Jonathan Powell, senior forecaster at Positive Weather Solutions, said: 'This year has seen an exceptional spring, with temperatures and sunshine well above average and rainfall down by a huge amount, fuelling drought worries.'

Farmers have already warned of a harvest disaster. England and Wales have been averaging 61.3mm of rain since March, while western Suffolk and Cambridgeshire have seen just 10mm.

And rivers and reservoirs are lower than normal across the country. In East Anglia the soil is rock hard, while in Essex some farmers have seen just half an inch of rain since February.

The North will have showers, with the Met Office even issuing severe gale warnings, but parched conditions in the south have sparked fears of hosepipe bans and forest fires.

Despite the concerns, sunseekers and holidaymakers in the south will be delighted as forecasters are predicting temperatures as high as 24c (75f) in the South East and East Anglia by Thursday.

Temperatures are also expected to be 20c (68f) in these areas for the bank holiday weekend.

Met Office forecaster Helen Chivers said: 'South-easterly winds will bring warmer air from the continent from Tuesday and temperatures will start to rise, certainly to 24c, by Thursday and Friday. It will stay dry in the South.'

Want to make the most of the sun? For some great ideas for sunny breaks in the UK, click on the image below!


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