Britain will face sunshine and showers before bank holiday weekend

Britain will face sunshine and showers before bank holiday weekend

April 26, 2021

Finally some rain on April’s parade: Britain will be hit by sunshine and showers before bank holiday weekend – as firefighters battle wildfires during near-record dry spell

  • Britain’s arid April is set to end this week with showers on the way for the upcoming bank holiday weekend
  • Hundreds of firefighters are battling countryside infernos across the UK after one of driest Aprils for years
  • But there will be a typical mixed bag of sunshine and rain across the country for the first May bank holiday
  • Long dry spell will come to an end by Wednesday when London is expected to see first rainfall of the month

Britain’s arid April is set to end this week with showers on the way for the upcoming bank holiday weekend.

Hundreds of firefighters are battling countryside infernos across the UK after one of the driest Aprils for years, but there will be a typical mixed bag of sunshine and rain across the country for the first May bank holiday.

While the South of England will remain dry for at least today and tomorrow, showers will move in to the North from Scotland with heavy rain possible in places – and rural locations can expect more overnight frosts.

The long dry spell will come to an end in most areas by Wednesday – when London is expected to see its first rainfall of the month – amid a mixture of sunny spells and showers as the weather turns decidedly unsettled.

The rain will be welcomed by fire crews after acres of picturesque Snowdonia in Wales were set ablaze as wildfires killed birds trapped in nests and sent up vast columns of smoke seen from 30 miles away.

Acres of Snowdonia in Wales were ablaze yesterday as wildfires killed birds trapped in nests and sent up columns of smoke

A huge blaze which raged for days in the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland finally started to die down yesterday

Hundreds of firefighters battled infernos across the UK at the weekend, including at the Mourne Mountains yesterday

A huge column of smoke is visible from the hills in Snowdonia yesterday after a number of wildfires started across the country

A helicopter dropping ‘water bombs’ and nine fire engines fought flames tearing through scrubland near Whinlatter Forest in Cumbria, while a huge blaze raged for days in the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland.

Fire crews also battled major blazes in Cornwall, Dorset, Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Orkney. The fires mainly hit grass, gorse and scrubland, and experts said the prolonged dry spell had led to tinderbox conditions.

Met Office forecaster Greg Dewhurst said: ‘There will be hit and miss showers affecting Britain over the next few days.

‘At the moment, weather modelling shows low pressure across the UK for the bank holiday weekend, with temperatures around 16C (61F) in the South – average for this time of year.

The rain will be welcomed by fire crews after acres of picturesque Snowdonia in Wales were set ablaze yesterday

Wildfires in Snowdonia yesterday killed birds trapped in nests and sent up vast columns of smoke seen from 30 miles away

Acres of picturesque Snowdonia in Wales were set ablaze yesterday and firefighters battled against countryside infernos 

A helicopter dropping ‘water bombs’ fought flames tearing through scrubland near Whinlatter Forest in Cumbria yesterday

‘There will be a mixture of sunny spells and showers across the country. But we are still a long way out (from the weekend) and it won’t take much of a change in wind direction to cause a change in temperatures.’

He said temperatures in the North could be slightly below the 13C (55F) average for the time of year, while conditions could turn ‘wetter and windier’ on bank holiday Monday – May 3.

The UK has experienced one of its driest Aprils on record so far, with an average of just 12.8mm (0.5in) of rain up to last Thursday – a sixth of the normal monthly average of 72.53mm (2.9in).

Dorset has had just 5 per cent of its average rainfall while the figure for Cornwall is 6 per cent.

The sun rises over the canal at Biddulph in Staffordshire this morning as sunny conditions continue for much of Britain

A photographer lines up his shot before the sunrise at St Mary’s Lighthouse in Whitley Bay this morning

The sun rises over Biddulph in Staffordshire today following a sunny weekend for much of the country

April could beat the month’s record for dry weather that has stood since 1938 when just 14.1mm (0.6in) of rain was recorded.

In recent years the driest Aprils have been in 2007, when 26.6mm (1in) of rain fell, and last year which saw 29.1mm (1.1in).

2020 was also the sunniest April on record in the UK, thanks to a spring heatwave which went some way to easing the burden of the first national lockdown.

Mr Dewhurst said: ‘April last year was also very dry but much warmer. It looked like it was on course to break records, until the final days of the month when we saw heavy rain’. 

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