Sunbathers, surfers and cyclists flock to the beach as Britain basks in 81F sunshine today… but showers could put a dampener on the start of the big summer break this weekend
- Sunbathers, surfers and cyclists flock to beaches across England today to enjoy the warm weather
- Scotland and Northern Ireland face scattered showers, with rain possible in England on Thursday
- Temperatures of 79F (26C) tomorrow in South, then 75F (24C) on Thursday and 72F (22C) on Friday
Temperatures could hit 81F (27C) today with plenty more sunshine expected this week as the school holidays start, despite a risk of rain on Saturday.
Sunbathers, surfers and cyclists flocked to beaches across England today to enjoy the warmth and relative quiet before the schools break up, although those in Scotland and Northern Ireland faced scattered showers.
It comes as motorists were warned to face gridlock on major roads this weekend as the busiest summer getaway in five years begins, with 13.4 million leisure trips expected to take place by car between Friday and Sunday.
Sunbathers apply sunscreen during the hot sunshine this morning on Towan beach in Newquay, Cornwall
A man cycles past beach huts in Herne Bay, Kent, during the morning sunshine today on a beautiful summer’s day
Sunbathers relax in the hot sunshine today on Towan beach in Newquay, Cornwall, on the week before school holidays start
Surf school pupils adopt a stance during the hot sunshine this morning on Towan beach in Newquay, Cornwall
A sailing boat passes the Kentish Flats Offshore Wind Farm during the morning sunshine near Herne Bay in Kent today
Surfers make the most of the waves during the warm weather this morning on Tolcarne beach in Newquay, Cornwall
A woman sits by herself to read her book during the morning sunshine on the beach at Herne Bay in Kent today
Conditions in southern England are looking fine for the rest of the week, with 79F (26C) tomorrow in southern England, then 75F (24C) on Thursday, 72F (22C) on Friday and back up to around 75F (24C) by the weekend.
However, there is a risk of showers on both Thursday and Saturday. The North will see slightly lower temperatures of 68F (20C) on Thursday, then 66F (19C) on Friday and 68F (20C) again by the weekend.
Met Office meteorologist Oli Claydon told MailOnline: ‘For today, there’s a chance of a 27C along the south coast, most likely south east. Tomorrow, we’ve got a band of rain moving in from the North West, but ahead of that in any sunshine we could potentially hit 26C again in the South East.
‘Into Thursday, behind that band of rain which will be moving south eastwards, it will feel slightly cooler in the north with highs down into the teens or just scratching 20C, but still potentially 24C in the South East.
‘On Friday, another notch down again, so 18C or 19C in the North, potentially 22C in the South. Over the weekend, it certainly starts to go down, but looking to remain fairly constant. It will be 24C again in the South on Saturday and Sunday and about 20C in the North.’
A surfer walks past ‘the island’ during the hot sunshine this morning on Towan beach in Newquay, Cornwall
Stand up paddle boarders enter the water during the warm weather today on Towan beach in Newquay, Cornwall
Surfers play in the waves this morning during the hot sunshine on Great Western beach in Newquay, Cornwall
Sunbathers sit in front of a shady cliff this morning during the hot sunshine on Towan beach in Newquay, Cornwall
Noctilucent clouds gather this morning over The Bathing House, a Grade-II listed cottage on the cliff edge in Northumberland
Looking further ahead, Mr Claydon warned there is high uncertainly going into next week because of potential for an area of low pressure coming across the Atlantic and potentially creating unsettled conditions.
As for the start of August, the Met Office has said confidence is ‘low’ with no one single weather pattern looking to dominate.
Its forecast adds: ‘As is often the case in summer, this could well mean plenty of fine, dry weather, interspersed with occasional thundery outbreaks, leading to marked local variations in rainfall. Temperatures are likely to pan out above average, perhaps more especially in the south and west.’
The top UK temperature yesterday was 77.2F (25.1C) at Bainbridge in North Yorkshire, while the coldest place was Kinbrace in the Scottish Highlands which fell to 39.6F (4.2C).
Get ready for ‘frantic Friday’: Motorists are warned they face getaway gridlock as 13 million cars hit the road for first weekend of the summer holidays
Motorists have been warned to face gridlock on major roads this weekend as the busiest summer getaway in five years begins.
Research by the RAC and traffic information supplier Inrix indicates that 13.4 million leisure trips will take place by car between Friday and Sunday.
This is around four million more than the same weekend in 2018 and would represent the largest summer getaway since 2014, according to the analysis.
Research by the RAC and traffic information supplier Inrix indicates that 13.4 million leisure trips will take place by car between Friday and Sunday. The peak spots are shown in this map
The worst day of the week for congestion is expected on ‘frantic Friday’ when many school terms end.
Some 5.3 million drivers embarking on day trips or longer breaks will battle for road space with regular commuters.
The M1 southbound from Junction 16 at Northampton to Junction 6 at north Watford is likely to see the longest jams, with delays of one-and-a-half hours.
Hold-ups of around an hour are predicted for the M25 anticlockwise from Junction 4 at Bromley to Junction 1 at Swanscombe/Dartford.
Significant queues are also forecast on the M40, M5 and M6. Drivers are advised to travel after 8pm if possible to avoid the worst of the traffic.
RAC patrol of the year Ben Aldous urged drivers to carry out basic car checks such as oil, coolant and tyre tread and pressure before embarking on a long trip.
The figure for leisure trips this weekend is around four million more than the same weekend in 2018 and would represent the largest summer getaway since 2014, according to the analysis
He said: ‘The last thing any family wants is a breakdown spoiling the start of their summer holiday they’ve no doubt been looking forward to for a long time.
‘Traffic jams are pretty much guaranteed and while it’s possible to predict where some of these will be, every summer we see extra delays caused by broken down vehicles blocking lanes, leaving drivers faced with hours of frustration.’
Highways England’s head of road safety Richard Leonard added: ‘Breakdowns are still too common.
‘We’d urge motorists to check their vehicles on a regular basis and this week is really important because we know that many schools break up for summer and people are setting off on holidays and getaways.
‘By doing the correct checks before setting off, motorists can make sure they keep everyone moving which means everyone can reach their destination safely and on time.’
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