Sunny weekend beckons as warm conditions persist
Britain is set to bask in “long sunny spells” as warm as Portugal over the bank holiday weekend as the drought continues.
Widespread sunshine on Sunday and Monday will only be dampened by isolated showers on Saturday, in “average” conditions that holidaymakers can rely upon, the Met Office said.
Temperatures are on course to peak at 24C in London, far below the UK’s recent 40C heatwave, though this will be as warm as Lisbon in Portugal.
The 10 areas of England still in drought status will remain “very, very dry”, the Met Office said, in a settled spell for the Reading and Leeds festivals and Notting Hill carnival.
Dan Stroud, a forecaster at the Met Office, said “west is best” for those seeking the sunniest weather, in the West Country and Wales, though London is set to be warmest.
“There will be some decent sunny spells throughout the weekend and feeling warm in the sunshine, with temperatures generally in the low to mid 20s across England and Wales and in the high teens to 20C in the north,” he told the PA news agency.
“Saturday will be largely dry and settled with high pressure dominating the picture.
“Although there is a mix of sunny spells and a chance of a few scattered showers across England and Wales during the course of Saturday, those showers will be mostly light.
“Into Sunday, it is largely fine and dry with plenty of sunny spells, temperatures slightly above average in the south so feeling warm in the sunshine.
“We are seeing cloudier skies across north west Scotland with outbreaks of light rain and drizzle.
“For Bank Holiday Monday itself, it is still rather cloudy in the far northwest of Scotland with a low chance of patchy rain, elsewhere mainly fine and dry with plenty of sunny spells.
“It’s going to be a case of west is best.
“There is a bit of an easterly wind, nothing unpleasant, so cloudier skies across North Sea coast areas.”
Tens of thousands of revellers will attend the Reading and Leeds festivals between Friday and Sunday, with the rapper Dave and the Arctic Monkeys among the headliners.
Meanwhile, the Notting Hill Carnival in west London will return from Saturday to Monday for the first time since the pandemic, with two million people expected to celebrate.
Torrential downpours battered the UK this week following the UK’s second heatwave of the summer amid a yellow thunderstorm warning, with one part of Essex seeing more than an inch of rain in just one hour.
But as of Wednesday, the UK had only 46% of the average total rainfall for August.
The ongoing dry weather has seen drought declared across swathes of England, with parched grass and struggling crops, streams drying up and river, reservoir and aquifer levels low, and hosepipe bans brought in for millions as heatwaves pushed up demand for water.
Forecasters are yet to spot a sustained period of above-average rainfall, which is needed to end the drought.