Bank holiday likely to see hottest day of the year so far

The balmy bank holiday is set to bring the warmest weather of the year so far, with the mercury due to hit 25C on Monday.

Britons flocked to parks, beaches and pub gardens to enjoy the sunshine over the long weekend after weeks stuck indoors due to a combination of heavy downpours and Covid-19 restrictions.

Forecasters at the Met Office warned people to slap on plenty of sun cream as UV light levels will be high or very high.

Punts and kayaks on the River Cam in Cambridge
Punts and kayaks on the River Cam in Cambridge (Joe Giddens/PA)

Becky Mitchell, a meteorologist from the Met Office, said: “We could potentially get to the hottest day of the year but definitely by tomorrow.”

The previous high of 24.5C (76.1F) was recorded on March 30 at Kew Gardens.

“We will see highs of 24C (75.2F), most likely in parts of Wales and the Midlands and in north-west England as well on Sunday, it’s likely we could get to 24.5C (76.1F).

“We are expecting highs of 25C (77F) tomorrow, so the warmest day of the year so far, and both today and tomorrow we will see temperatures in the low 20s in most parts of the UK, even in northern Scotland.”

She continued: “The only exception is along the east coast – there is quite a lot of low cloud, mist and fog in east coastal areas and that will stay for the next few days , so highs of between 12C (53.6F) and 16C (60.8F) there – quite a lot lower than elsewhere.”

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Ms Mitchell said many places in the South East including London had dawned cloudy on Sunday morning, but that had mostly cleared away by mid-morning.

Although a fine bank holiday is a rarity, in themselves the temperatures are not unusual for the time of year, with the mercury usually sitting in the high teens and low 20s by late May.

Ms Mitchell said: “That could go up to 27C (80.6F) in one or two spots by Wednesday, that is pretty warm for the time of year but not record breaking and not exceptional.”

“It is just because of the weather we have been having that it will feel pretty warm,” she said.

Stuart Henderson enjoys sunshine from his hut on Bournemouth beach
Stuart Henderson enjoys sunshine from his hut on Bournemouth beach (Andrew Matthews/PA)

May was the fourth wettest on record for the UK, and the wettest ever for Wales.

Despite some bookies offering 2/1 odds on next month being the hottest June ever, Ms Mitchell said there is nothing in the long-range forecast at the moment that would indicate that will be the case.

“There are no strong signals for it to be the warmest June on record. Temperatures will come down a little by the end of next week, and it won’t be as warm from Thursday onwards, so there are no strong signals, although it is a bit early to tell.”