Another changeable week, quieter midweek
There are signs of something warmer and drier in the outlook for western areas in particular, but in general this is going to be yet another cool and changeable week, following what has proved to be one of the wettest Aprils on record (most likely the wettest since 2000 taking the country as a whole).
Today is getting off to a dry bright start across most of England and Wales, though we have a lot of cloud and some rain across Scotland, and some low cloud in north-east England thanks to the winds coming in off the North Sea, and also some cloud and rain across south-western Britain.
During the rest of today the rain belts over south-west England and Scotland will fizzle out, although those areas will remain cloudy. Elsewhere, except for some low cloud across north-east England, which will also develop across eastern Scotland during the afternoon, it will be a fairly bright day, with some sunny intervals, but some heavy rain and the odd rumble of thunder will spread into southern areas during the evening. Temperatures will be rather up on recent days' values in most parts of England and Wales, reaching 14 to 16C widely, but over much of Scotland and also the cloud-affected parts of north-east England they will only struggle to around 9 to 11C.
The rain belt will slowly push northwards overnight, and the rain in the southern half of England will be somewhat heavy, leading to further problems with flooding- parts of south-west England may see as much as 30-40mm of rain from the system. The rain belt tending to fizzle as it progresses northwards, but it will nonetheless produce a rather grey, drizzly day across northern England, the north Midlands and into southern Scotland on Tuesday, with temperatures held down at 10-12C. Southern England and south Wales will brighten up with a scattering of showers and afternoon highs of 13 to 15C, and the northern half of Scotland will be sunny and dry.
Into Wednesday and Thursday the frontal system will sink slowly southwards, so southern parts of Britain will have a grey drizzly day on Wednesday while Scotland and northern England become dry and sunny to the west of high ground and fairly warm, but cooler and cloudier near the east coast thanks to onshore breezes. This quieter weather will spread south to cover all parts of the country by Thursday.
There's still a fair amount of uncertainty over the upcoming Bank Holiday weekend, but with cold air pushing down from the north and frontal systems stalling over southern Britain it could well turn out to be a cold dull wet one across England and Wales; perhaps brighter in Scotland. It may not quite end up as the coldest May for 100 years, but a cold spell seems likely.
30th April 2012 10:56 Updated: 30th April 2012 10:56