The UK is expected to be hit with cold showers, frost and strong winds across the bank holiday weekend just weeks after record-high temperatures at Easter.
Easter Monday was the warmest on record for all four UK nations, with temperatures higher than 20C, but this bank holiday could see them drop as low as minus 2C (28.4F) in northern Scotland on Saturday evening, with heavy showers and hail across the east coast of England.
It will also be much colder than the same time last year, when the mercury hit 28.7C (83.6F) at Northolt, west London, making it the hottest early May bank holiday Monday and weekend since records began.
— Met Office (@metoffice) May 3, 2019
Temperatures will be slightly warmer on Sunday, with dry spells after a frosty evening.
London could see reasonable weather going into Monday, with temperatures of 13C (55.4F), the same in the south and west of England.
Met Office forecaster Richard Miles said: “It will be colder, a lot colder, with showers in the north and the east of England.
“Saturday will be the worst day of the Bank Holiday weekend in terms of chilly showers and possible hail on the east coast, though Sunday and Monday will be a lot more settled.
“Sheltered, hilly areas in the North and Scotland could see colder and wintry weather in the evening from a northerly direction.
“The West should escape most of the colder weather, in Wales it could actually be quite nice, normal weather and the same in parts of Northern Ireland, as most places go to double figures during the day.”
The lowest temperature ever recorded on the early May bank holiday was minus 6.4C (20.5F) in Grantown-on-Spey in Scotland in 1981, and in Kinbrace in Scotland in 1988.
Asked about the chances of it being colder than that weekend, Mr Miles said: “You’d be unlucky to see weather that cold, though some sheltered areas will feel very chilly.
— Met Office (@metoffice) May 2, 2019
“The coldest looks to be Aviemore in the Scottish highlands, which could drop to minus 2C in the evening, with frosty weather in the hilly areas.”
Those travelling should expect disruption this weekend, as parts of Britain’s railway will shut down for the second time in three weeks due to engineering work taking place.
No trains will run to or from London Euston between Saturday and Monday, due to work in preparation for HS2, and there are no trains between Bristol Parkway and Newport, or between Shenfield and Southend Victoria.
In addition, Virgin Trains, which operates services on the West Coast Main Line, is urging passengers to “avoid travelling on these dates unless you absolutely have to”.
As a result, more traffic is expected, as thirteen million leisure trips are to be taken by car between Friday and Sunday, according to RAC research, making it the busiest May Day bank holiday on the roads since 2016.