Brace yourselves. A BBQ weekend is on the way!
Most of us have been bathed in warmth and sunshine this week, with an area of high pressure across the UK. Temperatures have widely been in the low to mid 20s celsius, although some coastal areas have been cooler with lingering mist and low cloud.
The fine weather is the first notable spell of warmth that most places have seen since March, when temperatures rose to 20-23C. However, this was followed by a huge change to unsettled weather, with April ending up as the wettest ever recorded in the UK.
The reason for the current spell of sunshine has been warm air spreading in from near by continental Europe. This combined with light winds, cloudless skies and long days has allowed the warmth to build day by day.
One of the more interesting things from a weatherman’s point of view is that the current warm spell appeared on the charts at relatively short notice. Just a week before, there were signs that the more unsettled weather was likely to persist.
This is a perfect example of why beyond five days the confidence and accuracy levels of the forecast drop off significantly. Even with the most complex weather models and powerful supercomputers, sometimes there are still surprises.
Anyway, getting back to the question that you probably want answered – will it be a BBQ weekend?
The simple answer is yes, although as always, there will be a few exceptions.
A noticeable change for all places is that there will be a brisk easterly wind developing. This will moderate the heat a little as there will be more mixing of the air near the surface. As a result, it will be a fraction cooler than recent days at generally 19-24C, but still feeling warm.
One thing that I’d really like to highlight about this weekend is the UV index. With barely a cloud in the sky and strong May sunshine, it’s going to be high across the UK, so don’t be fooled. It may feel cooler with more of a breeze but the sun is just as capable of causing sun burn.
Whilst most places will be very warm, eastern coasts of England and Scotland will tend to be cooler at 15-19C due to the cooling affect of a breeze off the still relatively chilly North Sea.
There’s also a weakening cold front that is expected to arrive in south west England and south Wales later on Saturday into Sunday. This will introduce a band of cloud which could bring a few showers.
Beyond the weekend, there are signs that the warmth will continue into next week, although there’ll be a little more cloud as the week goes on, with an increasing risk of some showers developing.