UK weather: Britain braces for hottest day of year as public urged to maintain social distancing

Samuel Osborne
People enjoy the sunshine on the beach at Southend-On-Sea in Essex on Saturday: EPA/NEIL HALL

Thousands of people have flocked to beaches around the UK this weekend to enjoy the sunny weather before lockdown restrictions are eased on Monday.

More sunny weather is expected on Sunday and Monday ahead of what could become the hottest day of the year so far.

The public has been reminded to practice social distancing as the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) complained “mixed messages” from the government has caused travel chaos.

Tuesday could be the hottest day of the year so far, with Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill saying there was a “reasonable chance” of temperatures reaching as high as 29C, beating the 28.2C recorded in Suffolk on 20 May.

Sunday was expected to be “sunny across the whole of the UK, a bit breezier towards the south coast, with highs of 26 or 27,” Mr Burkill told The Independent.

People enjoy the sunshine on the beach at Southend-On-Sea in Essex on Saturday (EPA/NEIL HALL)

Monday will remain sunny but with “a bit of cloud bubbling up here and there, and temperatures may be down a nudge, with a high of 26C”.

“But then on Tuesday we’ll see a change,” he warned. “It takes a little while to come in so we’re going to see the weather changing from the north. Northern parts will turn cloudy and there will be outbreaks of rain.”

Sunbathers enjoy the warm weather on the beach near Boscombe Pier in Bournemouth (AFP/Getty)

However, he said Tuesday could also be “the hottest day of the year so far, with a reasonable chance we’ll get highs of 28 or 29C. It’s going to be largely sunny and we’ll see hotter air across us.”

He said the rest of the week would see a slight drop in temperatures with showery rain around the UK.

“It is going to be a bit more changeable than it has been. Temperatures will be lower than they have been, but not massively.”

People enjoy the sunshine in the water and on the beach at Ruislip Lido in west London on Saturday (JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

He said it was “not out of the question” that Wednesday and Thursday could see heavy thunderstorms across the south.

“There will be a bit of rain further north too,” he added.

People flocked to Durdle Door in Dorset on Saturday (PA)

It comes after Saturday saw highs of 28C and clear skies, as temperatures soared well above the average for the time of year, according to the Met Office.

Three people were seriously injured jumping off cliffs into the sea at Durdle Door in Dorset on Saturday afternoon.

Footage on social media showed people climbing and leaping from the 200ft rocks.

An air ambulance lands on the beach at Durdle Door as the is evacuated (PA)

Purbeck Police posted photos of helicopters landing on the sand and crowds leaving the beach as the area was evacuated.

The force have asked people to stay away from the popular beach.

Many people also swarmed to Bournemouth Beach, nearby Bournemouth train station, which RMT union leaders described as “the eye of the storm”.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “The hopeless mixed messaging from the government and the impact of the [Dominic] Cummings affair has resulted in predictable chaos on the railway today, with Bournemouth at the eye of the storm.

“This is on Boris Johnson and he cannot shirk responsibility.

“RMT has warned that lifting the lockdown too quickly would soon result in chaos on our transport services, and here you have it.