UK weather: Britain is set for its HOTTEST August Bank Holiday in history5 min read

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Britain is set for its HOTTEST August Bank Holiday in history with sizzling 91F highs over three-day break (after two-day deluge this week)

  • High pressure sweeping in from Atlantic will end unsettled weather this month and bring 91F (33C) highs
  • Tourism chiefs expect 8.6m Britons to plan holiday at home this weekend, giving economy a £2.1bn boost
  • High would smash the UK record for late August bank holiday of 82.8F (28.2C) set in Lincolnshire, in 2017

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It’s been a wet and windy August so far with rain and flooding disappointing families on their summer holidays.

But this bank holiday weekend is set to be the hottest on record with the Met Office forecasting temperatures of up to 91F (33C), meaning millions of people will hit the roads for day trips to the seaside and outdoor attractions.

High pressure sweeping in from the Atlantic will end the unsettled weather so far this month, with tourism chiefs expecting 8.6million Britons to plan a holiday at home this weekend, bringing a £2.1billion boost to the economy. 

A couple kayak down the Basingstoke canal near Dogmersfield in Hampshire today ahead of hot weather this weekend

A couple kayak down the Basingstoke canal near Dogmersfield in Hampshire today ahead of hot weather this weekend

A pristine Bournemouth beach is photographed at sunrise this morning before the bank holiday weekend

A pristine Bournemouth beach is photographed at sunrise this morning before the bank holiday weekend

Sunrise over South Shields lighthouse in Tyne and Wear today, as temperatures are set to rise for the Bank Holiday weekend

Sunrise over South Shields lighthouse in Tyne and Wear today, as temperatures are set to rise for the Bank Holiday weekend

The high would smash the UK record for the late August bank holiday of 82.8F (28.2C), which was set in Holbeach, Lincolnshire, in 2017 – and the highest temperature for late August of 88.7F (31.5C) observed in London in 2001. 

Met Office chief meteorologist Steve Willington said: ‘We’ve had a fairly wet and windy August so far, however that’s going to change this weekend as we see high temperatures, sunshine and light winds return.

‘On Saturday and Sunday there’ll be plenty of sunshine across the country with temperatures reaching into the mid-20Cs (high-70Fs) for many – it’ll be warmest in south-eastern parts where 30C (86F) is possible.

‘By Bank Holiday Monday itself temperatures will rise further with around 33C (91F) possible in the South East – which would set a new record for the coming Bank Holiday weekend.’ 

Temperatures will remain around average for the time of year today, with some rain expected in parts of northern England

Temperatures will remain around average for the time of year today, with some rain expected in parts of northern England

The high would smash the UK record for the late August bank holiday of 82.8F (28.2C), which was set in Holbeach, Lincolnshire, in 2017

The high would also beat the highest temperature for late August of 88.7F (31.5C) observed in London in 2001

The expected high would smash the UK record for the late August bank holiday of 82.8F (28.2C), which was set in Holbeach, Lincolnshire, in 2017 (left) – and the highest temperature for late August of 88.7F (31.5C) observed in London in 2001 (right)

Chaotic getaway with 16.5million trips on the roads and ‘do not travel’ warning on LNER trains

British families face a chaotic bank holiday getaway this weekend with drivers planning to make an estimated 16.5million leisure trips and rail passengers being urged to avoid the East Coast Main Line.

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Friday and Saturday are expected to be the busiest days on the roads, with a combined 9.4million trips, followed by bank holiday Monday itself with around 3.7million journeys, according to research by the RAC and Inrix.

But experts said there could be even more trips than this – given that the weather looks set to improve in much of Britain after the heavy rain and stormy conditions that have characterised much of August so far.

Data indicates some of the worst major roads for delays will include the M25 anticlockwise (between J1 and J4) and the M6 north (between J18 and J24) on Friday, and the M6 south (between J27 and J13) on Monday.

Meanwhile train operator London North Eastern Railway (LNER) has issued a ‘do not travel’ warning for the East Coast Main Line route between London and Scotland via York on Saturday and Sunday.

This is because King’s Cross will be closed due to Network Rail engineering work, meaning there are no trains between London and Peterborough.

LNER will run a severely restricted service from Scotland and the north of England to Peterborough. Trains will be extremely busy and passengers are advised to reserve a seat or risk having to stand for the entire journey. 

However, downpours are expected in northern areas until Friday, with rain also expected in the South before high pressure arrives. This weekend could also see a ‘North-South’ split as downpours continue in the North.

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At least 94mm (3.7in) of rain has fallen across the UK between August 1 and 17 – about 5 per cent above the national average for the month. However, the wettest August on record saw 167.6mm (6.6in) of rainfall in 1912. 

From Friday, south easterly winds will draw warm air from continental Europe towards the UK, bringing rising temperatures along with dry and settled weather – which will be hugely welcomed after days of washouts this summer.

Temperatures are expected to be well above average for the time of year, with heatwave thresholds expected to be met across the UK. The Met Office has therefore issued several heat health alerts with Public Health England.

RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said: ‘With summer returning in time for the weekend for many of us, it’s going to mean millions of us take to the road for day trips and short breaks.

‘Unfortunately, as the temperature rises so can the chances of a breakdown – so it’s important drivers check over their vehicle before setting out.

‘Tyre pressure and tread, as well as oil and coolant levels, should all be looked at and doing so can really cut the chances of breaking down.

‘Hungry, thirsty or tired passengers can also be recipes for in-car irritability – and ‘carguments’ – so pack enough food and water to keep your passengers happy, and plan in enough breaks along the way.’ 

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