Temperatures of more than 30°C are expected early next week, as summer makes a comeback to coincide with new curbs on socialising due to coronavirus.
Southern England may see highs of 31°C on Monday and Tuesday, forecasters are predicting, in a dramatic U-turn from the cold weather seen this week.
It’s as new laws in England come into force that limit the size of both indoor and outdoor gatherings to six people, with a few exceptions.
The final weekend before what is being dubbed by some as ‘lockdown2’ comes into place will see more of a patchy outlook.
Rain is expected across Scotland, Northern Ireland and parts of northern England on Friday but there will also be some sunshine.
In London and the south east, it will be warm and sunny over the weekend before things really take off at the start of next week.
Grahame Madge, a Met Office spokesman, told Metro.co.uk: ‘The UK’s weather over the weekend and into early next week displays a very strong north-south split, with increasingly warm conditions dominating in the south-east and very wet conditions presiding over western Scotland.
‘South-east England could see temperatures in the high 20s and even an isolated temperature of 30°C is not beyond possibility before conditions return to being more unsettled later in the week.’
The sudden warm spell is being put down to a ‘buckle in the jet stream’, dragging in hot air from the continent.
It still remains to be seen whether the conditions for a heatwave will be met. The Met Office classifies a period of hot weather as a heatwave if temperatures pass a certain level for three days in a row. In London and the south east this means three days of above 28°C temperatures.
Currently, conditions are expected to drop back to average for this time of year by the end of next week but there will still be some sunny spells.
It’s after things got very cold on Wednesday night into Thursday, with some places experiencing a morning frost and temperatures as low as 4°C.
Giving his outlook for Thursday, BBC forecaster Phil Avery said: ‘There will be some sunshine to go with that rather chilly start. But as I get you on into the afternoon, I think the cloud is going to fill in and the sunshine will become ever more fleeting. And not just as warm as we’ve seen it of late.’
He went on to say it would be a ‘wet and windy start’ for Scotland and Northern Ireland on Friday, before warning ‘don’t bank on it being a dry day’ in northern England and northern Wales where rain is likely after lunch.
It comes after August saw both an unprecedented heatwave and two named storms. Early in the month crowds flocked to Britain’s beaches to enjoy the hottest August day in 17 years but then were let down by one of the coldest bank holiday weekends on record.
The arrivals of Storm Ellen and Storm Francis in quick succession brought heavy rain and wind and capped off a truly bizarre month of weather.
Those hoping to enjoy the autumn sun next week will have to do it with limited company due to the new rules. Many have already reported having to cancel big events and getaways where more than six had been invited.
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