Cloud and rain forecast as temperatures drop

Cloud and cooler temperatures are hitting Britain after days of hot weather.

Sunseekers who basked in highs of 28C over the weekend, as the nation recorded its sunniest spring since records began in 1929, are faced with cooler weather, with some places seeing heavy rain.

Water UK, which said water companies have been dealing with a surge in demand from households that has been 25% above normal for this time of year in some cases, welcomed the unsettled weather.

There will be a “very different feeling” on Wednesday for many people, as a band of cloud and rain spreads south and east, introducing cooler, fresher air and increasing winds, according to the Met Office.

Meteorologist Steven Keates said there is “a big change” for many parts of the UK, adding: “On Tuesday we had temperature highs of 26.9C in Gosport. It will be much cooler than that, particularly in the South.

“We will also be seeing some welcome rain for most of us. The month of May has been exceptionally dry and so there will be some useful rain for gardeners and growers over the next few days.”

With the cloud spilling south after a warm day, it was mild overnight moving into Wednesday, where temperatures of 16.1C at Brize Norton may have led to uncomfortable sleeping for some.

The Met Office recorded more than 573 hours of sunshine between March 1 and May 27, beating the previous record of 555.3 hours which was set in 1948.

Showers are expected in Scotland, Northern Ireland, England and Wales on Wednesday, with temperatures unlikely to climb any higher than 20C in most places.

In many parts, including the South West and Midlands, the maximum temperature could be as low as 11C or 12C, and further north the mercury could struggle to get above 10C.

Rain, which will be “quite sporadic”  and “moderate enough to properly wet the ground and be welcomed by many gardeners”, will arrive on Wednesday, said Mr Keates.

He added: “If you have been used to the sunshine, blue skies and warmth – it may be a bit of a shock to the system and a disappointment.

Wednesday night is set to be fresh, with most places reaching between 7C and 12C.

Summer weather
Water companies are urging people to use water more carefully and not to fill paddling pools (Martin Keene/PA)

Saying there could be sunshine and showers that may be “on the sharp side” on Thursday, Mr Keates said: “It could be cloudy and a rather unsettled day – not a washout but there are some showers to watch out for, so if you are out, having a brolly to hand is probably not a bad idea.”

Temperatures are set to reach from 12C to 14C across Scotland and around 16C to 17C further south in England and Wales, meaning that it will be a little lower than might be expected at this time of year.

Water UK, which works with water companies and regulators, welcomed the unsettled weather after a recent jump in household demand and peaks of water usage in the evening.

The rise is down to a combination of more people staying at home and the hot weather.

Lower water pressure can occur at peak times when more people are using it at the same time.

Water companies are urging people to use water more carefully.

They stress it is important for everyone to stick to the safety advice during the pandemic of washing their hands regularly, but they are also asking people to avoid hoses and sprinklers, not to fill paddling pools, and to take shorter showers.

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