UK weather: Temperatures to peak at 29C this week after sunniest spring in 72 years, Met Office says

Matt Mathers
People sunbathe on the beach near the derelict West Pier in Brighton on the south coast of England on May 31, 2020 on the eve of a further relaxation of the novel coronavirus lockdown rules: AFP via Getty Images

Britons can look forward to another fine start to the week following the sunniest spring in over 70 years, forecasters have said.

The weekend’s warm weather is expected to continue until at least Wednesday when the mercury will begin to drop across the UK, bringing a period of more unsettled weather.

The west of England could see highs of around 27C on Monday, while the south may enjoy temperatures of up to (84.2F) 29C in what could be the hottest day of the year so far, according to forecasters.

Northerly winds will bring cooler air to the UK on Tuesday and Wednesday, while some areas in the south of England could see thundery showers.

“The sunny weather will certainly continue for a couple more days but from Tuesday we are starting to see some more unsettled weather across Scotland and the gradual trend will be turning cooler across the UK from Wednesday onwards,” said Met Office forecaster Marco Petanga.

Over the weekend, thousands of Britons flocked to beaches and beauty spots across England ahead of lockdown restrictions being eased on Monday.

Beach-goers enjoyed temperatures of up to 28C (82.4F), emergency services attended incidents involving water, fires and littering, despite warnings being issued to the public.

The warm end to the month confirmed a significant milestone for the UK with the nation recording its sunniest spring since records began in 1929.

The Met Office recorded more than 573 hours of sunshine between 1 March and 27 May, beating the previous record of 555.3 hours which was set in 1948.

It is also expected to be the driest May for 124 years, with official figures on rainfall to be published on Monday.

People across England took advantage of the hot weather over the weekend to visit beaches and beauty spots, despite some authorities urging the public to stay away.

Nancy Platts, leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, asked people not to visit the area on Sunday and called on the government for more powers to implement a local lockdown.

On Saturday, crowds of people had to be evacuated from the beach and surrounding cliffs at Durdle Door, in Dorset, when three tombstoners were injured after jumping from a 200ft sea arch.

And scores of people defied attempts to close the beach on Sunday, with people being encouraged by crowds to jump from the same arch.

In Lancashire, one man died and two others were rescued and taken to hospital for treatment after a boat sank about a mile off the coast at Fleetwood on Sunday morning.

Authorities across the country urged people to stay away from open water, avoid lighting barbecues or fires and take litter home, as they reported having to fight fires and clear up rubbish left behind by visitors.

More than 100 firefighters in the North West battled to contain separate blazes as a result of the hot weather, with one moorland fire, covering 5km of land in Darwen, thought to have been started by a disposable barbecue.

A tweet by North York Moors National Park on Sunday said: “There are no poo pixies or litter fairies here.

“Our rangers spent this morning at a beauty spot collecting 20 bags of rubbish, including nappies, socks, shoes, towels, chairs, gas canisters, BBQs, beer bottles, food and broken glass.

“Please do your bit and take your litter home.”

Rochdale Council tweeted that local beauty spots had “taken a hammering” from visitors and West Midlands Fire Service reported that firefighters spent the morning clearing up litter at Cannon Hill Park.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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