UK weather: Britain braces for the hottest day of the year so far

Britain is set for the hottest day of the year so far today with temperatures expected to hit 82F (28C), with forecasters expecting dry and warm conditions for at least the next week.

Today and this weekend will be dry and sunny across most of the country with the warmest conditions expected along the west coast of England and Wales, with 77F (25C) to 81F (27C) elsewhere.

The news will be a boost to Britons looking to enjoy socially-distanced picnics with friends and family in parks and spots this weekend, while many others will be looking at heading to the beach to soak up the sun.

Forecasters said there will be no appreciable rain over the next week, with high pressure sitting to the east set to continue dominating the weather for all areas except the far north of Scotland, which will see rain early next week.

This year's highest temperature of 82.7F (28.2C), set at Santon Downham in Suffolk on May 20, could be beaten today, while further hot weather is expected into next week before conditions turn cooler from next Thursday.

The 2020 UK high could be broken at the Moray Firth in Scotland, where the Foehn Effect - which causes the warming and drying of air on the lee side of a cross-mountain wind - will produce exceptionally warm conditions. 

It comes as the UK endures its driest May in 124 years with the landscape across the country looking parched - and one water firm urging households to voluntarily cut their usage by turning the taps off when brushing their teeth.

This weekend will be the last before family and friends can meet up in their gardens under the first major easing of the lockdown rules, after the Prime Minister allowed outdoor gatherings of up to six people from Monday.

The long-awaited change by Boris Johnson will mean many grandparents can see their children and grandchildren for the first time since March – while groups of friends or family members can gather for a summer barbecue.

Marco Petagna, of the Met Office, said: 'It could well hit temperatures of 27C or 28C from Friday onwards. 

'Up to June 5 things look set to generally continue as they are at the moment - pretty fine and settled and warm.  From Thursday and Friday onwards next week it might become more changeable.' 

Scotland and Northern Ireland both recorded their warmest day of the year so far yesterday, with 78.3F (25.7C) at Leuchars and 77F (25C) at Magilligan and Armagh respectively.

Meanwhile the water industry trade body has said there are no plans for hosepipe bans despite some regions being on course for the driest May on record.

Just weeks after many parts of England and Wales were deluged with floodwater, the spring drought has seen gardens wilt, farmers fret over parched crops and reservoir levels drop.

The Environment Agency said most water companies have 'appropriate' reserves, and stressed that calls for people to use it wisely should not deter anyone from regular hand-washing as part of the fight against Covid-19.

Tomorrow's weather

Sunday's weather

Warm temperatures are expected across Britain tomorrow (left) and on Sunday (right) with up to 81F (27C) forecast

Low water levels at the Lindley Wood Reservoir near Otley in West Yorkshire yesterday. There are no plans for hosepipe bans despite some regions being on course for the driest May on record, according to Water UK, the industry trade body

Low water levels at the Lindley Wood Reservoir near Otley in West Yorkshire yesterday. There are no plans for hosepipe bans despite some regions being on course for the driest May on record, according to Water UK, the industry trade body

But it confirmed United Utilities has applied to take water from a Cumbrian lake to help with supplies in the county and it warned further measures may be needed in the north-west of England if the dry spell continues.

How the Foehn Effect may bring Britain's hottest day of the year so far today

The highest temperature of the year so far could be set at the Moray Firth in northern Scotland today, where the Foehn Effect will bring exceptionally warm conditions. 

The effect sees rain fall on one side of a mountain and warm air currents form on the other.

The Foehn effect (shown above) sees rain fall on one side of a mountain and warm air currents form on the other

The Foehn effect (shown above) sees rain fall on one side of a mountain and warm air currents form on the other 

When the moist air travels over high ground such as a mountain, it is forced to rise up over the mountain and then condenses, forming cloud and rain.

Rain falls on the top or the windward side of the mountain but the other side is much drier. 

Dry air heats quicker so as it descends the leeward side it warms up drastically.

In the UK, notable Foehn events tend to occur across the Highlands where the moist prevailing westerly winds encounter high ground along Scotland's west coast.

This results in a marked contrast in weather - with the west being subjected to wet weather, while the lower lying east enjoys the warmth and sunshine of the effect.

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