Britons are set to bask in the hottest day of the year so far today as bank holiday Monday brings highs of 77F (25C) and more than two million drivers are expected to hit the roads to enjoy it.
People flocked to parks and beaches as they made the most of the turnaround in conditions – with the spell of summer sunshine now expected to last more than two weeks, following the fourth wettest May on record.
Conditions will improve further this week with highs of 81F (27C) by Wednesday, making Britain hotter than Rome which will only reach 77F (25C) – and it follows two days of glorious weather already over the three-day weekend.
The weekend has brought highs of 75.2F (24C) yesterday and 73.2F (22.9C) on Saturday – but neither day beat the current record for the warmest day of 2021 which was March 30 when London hit 76.1F (24.5C).
With the start of meteorological summer now just one day away, Britons have been flocking outdoors and making the most of sitting outside pubs and restaurants now that
Scenes at beaches and parks across the UK are now looking mostly back to pre-pandemic life, as discussions continue within the Government over whether it can hit the target date of June 21 to lift all the remaining rules.
A woman takes her dogs for a run this morning on Branksome beach in Bournemouth on bank holiday Monday
Two women go for an early morning swim on Branksome beach in Bournemouth today as a dog watches on
A cyclist makes their way along the promenade at Branksome beach in Bournemouth this morning
People look out at the water while others take their dogs for a walk on Branksome beach in Bournemouth this morning
A woman goes for an early morning swim in the sea amid the warm weather at Bournemouth in Dorset this morning
A man takes his board into the water at Bournemouth beach this morning on a very warm day for Britain
A few people were seen lying on the beach next to bottles in the sand at Bournemouth in Dorset this morning
And there is no sign of rain in the near future, with the spell of summer sunshine now expected to last more than a fortnight. BBC Weather reports that daily highs will remain at around 74F (23C) until at least the middle of June.
Met Office meteorologist Becky Mitchell said the mercury could reach 77F (25C) today – surpassing the high for 2021 so far. Temperatures will be at least in the mid-70Fs (low 20Cs) for most of the UK, even northern Scotland.
Ms Mitchell said: ‘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.;
Photos from the weekend showed Britons making the most of the weather, with beaches and parks packed. Party-goers were spotted out in force last night, with the city centres of Leeds and Newcastle particularly bustling.
Day-trippers piled in to several picturesque seaside resorts and basked in glorious sunshine as they enjoyed clear blue skies on the packed beach on Lyme Regis, while punts and kayaks filled the River Cam in Cambridge.
Droves of lockdown-weary Brits made the journey to Devon in a bid to enjoy the hot weather – as roughly 75,000 visitors were expected at Brighton, with 50,000 at Bournemouth and 50,000 at Blackpool.
Some 11 million daytrippers were clogging roads over the weekend, RAC data showed, with traffic jams due on coastal routes including the A23 to Brighton, A31 to Dorset, A30 to Cornwall and M55 to Blackpool.
At least two million separate leisure journeys were expected to take place today, but the RAC said this figure could be even higher if more people are tempted out by the excellent weather.
One local who visited The Imperial pub in Exeter said his family had to wait more than two hours for a round of drinks as the city’s beer gardens saw an influx of revellers to enjoy their time off in the sun.
Forecasters at the Met Office warned people to slap on plenty of sun cream as UV light levels will be high or very high. However, Ms Mitchell warned there could be some thunderstorms for some parts of the UK on the way.
‘There will potentially be some thunderstorms by midweek, the first bout of showers will come into parts of the South West and there will be a few thunderstorms in that,’ she said.
The storms in the South West are expected to hit on Wednesday, with the South East due a bit of a soaking by Friday.
‘There’s a chance of some thundery break down in the south east and we could have some quite intense storms there,’ Ms Mitchell said.
Holidaymakers, day trippers and locals flocked to the picturesque seaside resort of Lyme Regis in Dorset yesterday
Packed crowds flooded Bournemouth beach yesterday afternoon as Britons rushed to the coasts to enjoy the sunshine
‘There’s still a lot of uncertainty but with the warm and humid weather we are having we have the key ingredients for thunder storms.’
She continued: ‘The warmer weather will stick around until at least Thursday in most places, that’s when we could get some slightly fresher air coming in.
Although a fine bank holiday is rare, the temperatures are not unusual for the time of year, with the mercury usually sitting in the high teens and low 20Cs by late May.
The Met Office warned previously that levels of harmful UV light will be very high over the coming days, and advised people to wear plenty of sunscreen.
May has been the fourth wettest on record for the UK, with an average of 199mm (7.8in) falling, and the wettest ever for Wales.
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