Cold weather to nip UK's hottest day of year in bud

Nicola Slawson
Public Health England advised people to protect themselves from harmful UV rays. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA

Britons are being advised to enjoy the hot weather while they can because the high temperatures this weekend are set to drop by up to 10C on Monday.

Sunday is forecast to be the hottest day of the year so far, with temperatures expected to reach 24C (75F) in the south-east, rivalling holiday hotspots, such as Majorca and Ibiza.

The spring heat will not last though, with temperatures forecast to drop as a cold front sweeps across the country before the Easter break.

On Saturday a blast of warm continental air will be pushed up from France and Spain, causing temperatures to peak at 21C in London and 18-19C elsewhere.

It was the hottest Grand National day since 2011, when it was 21C. In view of the warm weather, organisers at Aintree announced that the first four horses home in the Grand National will be washed down in the cooling area before they proceed to the winner’s enclosure.

Emma Boorman, a forecaster for the Met Office, said: “There was a little fog this morning but that’s lifting and breaking now and we’ll have unbroken sunshine across the UK. The exception to this is the far north-west of Scotland, which will see cloud.

“That cloud would move south on Sunday, possibly bringing rain to the rest of Scotland and Northern Ireland,” she said, “but the vast majority of England and Wales will have a very fine day with plenty of sunshine”.

However, Boorman said, the cloud was part of a colder front moving in, which could see temperatures in London dropping from 24C on Sunday to 14C by Monday afternoon. “Everyone will really notice the difference.”

Although the weather was cooler this time last year, with temperatures as low as 10C, the yo-yoing of temperatures was normal for spring, Boorman said. “It’s always up and down. The warm weather is just a teaser but my advice is to stay safe in the sun. It’s hotter than you think at this time of the year so everyone should get the sunscreen out.”

Public Health England (PHE) also advised people to protect themselves from harmful UV rays. Prof John O’Hagan, head of the PHE’s Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards, said: “It’s worth remembering that at this time of the year UV can be as strong as it is in August. Many of us won’t yet be acclimatised to that and so may burn more quickly than usual.”

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