1 May 2015

Bank holiday weather: 10 things you need to know

The bank holiday weekend is fast approaching and there’s no doubt that the weather will be at the front of our minds when making plans.

As the calendar page flips into May, we’d like to think that the weather will perk up. However, the British weather rarely conforms to our ideals.


So, without further ado, here are 10 things you need to know about the bank holiday weather.

1. What’s the overall theme?

The overall theme for this bank holiday weekend is an unsettled one. Each day will offer different weather for each part of the UK, although it won’t be a perpetual washout by any means. However, if you’re hoping for prolonged warmth and sunshine, then you’re going to be disappointed.

2. Why is the weather behaving like this?

altantic_jetstream_WZ_wpOur weather machine, the jet stream, is dipping southwards in the mid-Atlantic Ocean, which is spinning up areas of low pressure. These will slowly drift towards us this weekend, bringing milder air, but also cloud, breeze and rain.

3. Is it unusual?

Not really. We are still in spring – a transitional season between winter and summer – therefore changeable weather is normal for the beginning of May. Some years it rains, other years the sunshine shines. It’s just how the British weather rolls…

4. Saturday’s weather

The best of any sunshine on Saturday will be across eastern parts of England and Scotland – especially in the morning. Elsewhere, it is likely to be cloudy and breezy, with rain slowly spreading in across Wales, Northern Ireland and western parts of Scotland and England through the day. It’ll be cool, with highs of 8-13C.

5. Sunday’s weather

At the moment, Sunday looks to be the ‘not so nice’ day of the weekend, with lots of cloud and spells of rain spreading slowly eastwards. It may brighten up in western areas later, but the timing of when this happens is uncertain. It’ll be chilly in the north, but southern parts of the UK could reach 13-18C.

6. Monday’s weather

weather_jetty_g_wpBy Monday, milder air will have arrived across the UK. Whilst the morning may be cloudy with showers, it should turn drier in the afternoon, with decent spells of sunshine. Temperatures will reach 10-15C for Scotland and Northern Ireland, with 13-18C for England and Wales.

7. Which is the best day overall?

It is quite tricky to pick a best day, given how changeable it is going to be. However, at the moment, it looks like Monday will be the day that offers the most pleasant weather for the largest portion of the UK.

8. How confident is the forecast?

The confidence in the forecast isn’t great, which means that everything you read here is subject to tweaks to detail – especially how far the rain moves in on Saturday and how long it lingers on Sunday.

9. Will it warm up again soon?

sunshine_london_g_wpThere are signs from the weather computer models that temperatures will gradually climb towards the middle of May. High pressure may also return, turning it drier and sunnier again. So, expect the weather to perk up for most of us by around the 10 May – give or take a day or two.

10. What about the weather for bank holiday at the end of May?

Are you having a laugh? The detail for this weekend is proving hard to get right, let alone what is going to happen in four weeks’ time. You may read such predictions about this summer’s weather in tabloid newspapers, but it is simply too far ahead to know.

Don’t forget, you can get the latest forecast on the Channel 4 Weather website. I’ll also be posting updates on Twitter – @liamdutton

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