May Bank Holiday Weekend: Breezy Warmth But Not Heat

Overall it is a settled and dry Bank Holiday weekend coming up. There will be some warm sunshine but also areas of cloud under the area of high pressure with a coolness in the breeze or after dark.

May Bank Holiday Weekend: Breezy Warmth But Not Heat

Issued: 24th May 2023 10:26

Another May Bank Holiday weekend coming up and high pressure is building over the UK. Although this doesn’t guarantee fine sunshine it does bring plenty of quiet, settled weather and hopefully some warmth. That's warmth, not a sizzling heat and it will still feel cool after dark. 


The important factors are the cloud cover and the wind. Large patches of low cloud can get trapped under the high, or drift in off the North Sea and make the day feel much cooler. A breeze off the cool sea will change how the air feels even with warm sunshine. Also, at the edge of a high pressure there can be brisk breezes which wouldn’t be ideal if you are heading to the coast for a day trip. If you are readying the BBQ, there is hope with an overall fair forecast but still a coolness in the evenings.

The air isn’t from a very warm direction. This isn’t a plume of heat from Africa that has worked its way up over the dry landmass of Iberia and France. The sun is strong and will feel warm when the winds are light and temperatures will tip into the low 20s Celsius. However, it’s not a taste of early summer when temperatures lift into the high twenties. The air is just not that warm and you will really notice that as the sun goes down.

By day the UV levels are now moving into the High category. I just read a comment on Facebook “I have sunburnt arms and it wasn’t even sunny” about last weekend. It doesn’t need to be full sunshine to burn. Sometimes a layer of cloud is worse as people don’t think that they need sunscreen, a sun hat or shades. The UV still makes its way through cloud, you need to Slip, Slap, Slop

Friday evening should see more cloud over northwest half of Britain and Northern Ireland with sunshine for the south-eastern half of Britain. It will be a fine evening for most but with a cool breeze around The Wash and coming inland for East Anglia and southeast England. Radio 1’s Big Weekend is at Camperdown Park, Dundee on Friday evening and all weekend. Friday looks fine but the drop in temperatures will be noticeable in the evening. Saturday looks fair, dry and bright but Sunday will feel cooler with a breeze off the sea and more cloud.

Saturday sees a weak weather front over Scotland with more cloud reaching northern parts of the UK and some patchy rain for NW Scotland and the Islands. There will be a noticeable westerly wind.

Edinburgh Marathon Festival takes place on Saturday with the half marathon starting at 8am on the 27th, and the marathon at 10am. Most of the route is heading east so runners will have the moderate breeze on their backs. It’s just the last six miles that turn back the way, into the wind. The weather looks fair and dry, bright but not full sun and not humid.

Much of England and Wales have a fine, sunny day with light winds and temperatures in the high teens to low twenties. Gradually through the day, cloud will increase for eastern England, reaching down to Kent later in the day. It will often be breezy through the English Channel but with fine sunshine and temperatures up to 22C for Jersey at the weekend.

The Chelsea Flower Show is underway with the public days starting on Thursday. The weather looks fair, it will be dry and sunny or bright. If you are visiting, it will be warm enough but not hot although still with strong sunshine. Probably ideal for the organisers and exhibitors with less wilting.

Sunday will see a lot more cloud although southwest England could keep sunny skies. The cloud will have drifted down the North Sea and be steered at the edge of the high pressure right over England into Wales. If there is a northerly flow and more cloud it will make the day feel cooler. However, breaks could appear and any sunny spells will make it feel warmer. Southern counties of England, across to Bristol and through the West Country should still reach 20C with the potential to jump several degrees higher to the lee of high ground.

Sunday night looks nippy with the cool northerly flow continuing although some differences in the position of the high begin to show as the weekend ends. This will affect the wind direction and the feel of the day.

Bank holiday monday high pressure

Monday looks dry but again with varying amounts of cloud. In the sunshine, temperatures will be in the teens to low twenties Celsius.

There are three play-off finals at Wembley over the long weekend. 27th Coventry City v. Luton Town, 28th Carlisle United v. Stockport County and 29th Barnsley v. Sheffield Wednesday. All of the matches look dry. Saturday and Sunday should see sunshine and temperatures up to 21C but Bank Holiday Monday could be cooler with more cloud, it will depend on where the high settles.

Tags: UK Weather  Events

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