Britons rushing to spend time outdoors will be hit by mild 53F (12C) temperatures today as the chilly April weather continues – with warmer conditions expected to return gradually to balmy 66F (19C) highs next week.
This month so far has been very cold for the time of year, with average daytime temperatures 2.7C below the normal level for April, night-time temperatures 3.2C below average and snow falling across many areas.
Families woke up to frost and fog patches today, with temperatures expected to sink as low as minus 4C in Wales and Northern Ireland and plummeting to minus 7C in Scotland as cold air brought down from the Arctic lingers.
Elsewhere, in London, those heading outside for an al fresco meal following Monday’s easing of lockdown restrictions will see temperatures reach a mild 53F (12C), with lows of 1C forecast late into the night.
And the week will remain cold, with maximums in the South East not expected to exceed 55F (13C) before Saturday brings slightly higher temperatures of 57F (14C) in time for Prince Philip’s funeral at Windsor Castle.
However, lockdown weary Britons will enjoy much warmer weather for their trips to pub gardens by the end of next week – with the mercury set to soar to a glorious 66F (19C) next Saturday.
The balmy temperatures are expected to persevere into Sunday for those in the South East, although they will still be nowhere near the levels hit on March 30 which brought the UK’s hottest day of the year so far with 24.5C (76.1F) recorded in London.
The sun rises over a cliff fall at Seatown, Dorset today on Britain’s historic Jurassic Coast as temperatures are set to soar. Boulders the size of cars plummeted from the cliff yesterday as the coastline suffered its largest rockfall in 60 years
Walkers take to woodland in Binfield Heath, Oxfordshire, this morning ahead of next week’s balmy temperatures
Britons rushing to spend time outdoors will be hit by mild 53F (12C) temperatures today as the chilly April weather continues – with warmer conditions expected to return gradually to balmy 66F (19C) highs next week
Temperatures at sunrise and sunset are on the rise next week as Britons continue to head out for drinks in pub gardens
Nicola Maxey, a forecaster at the Met Office, said: ‘We’re going to start seeing temperatures recover during the week but they’re still going to be below average.’
Speaking today, Met Office Forecaster Aidan McGivern added: ‘A widespread frost and some fog patches to wake up to on Wednesday.
‘They will give way to sunny spells and there will be fewer showers compared to the last few days. We have still got the cold air in place across the UK that was brought down from the Arctic at the end of last week, it’s now lingering.’
The Environment Agency has issued flood alerts – where flooding is possible – for five areas of southern England today, with those in Newmarket, Kimpton and Lilley Bottom, Flamstead, Great Shefford and Little Stour asked to remain prepared.
And experts have warned allergen levels will skyrocket through the coming days due to the sudden switch from cold to warm weather, causing misery for hayfever sufferers.
This month so far has been very cold for the time of year, with average daytime temperatures 2.7C below the normal level for April, night-time temperatures 3.2C below average and snow falling across many areas
Narcissus blossoms in Binfield Heath, Oxfordshire, today as mild weather remains for a final few days ahead of a balmy week
Hayfever sufferers facing summer with ‘massive pollen bomb’
A ‘massive pollen bomb’ has threatened hay-fever misery for millions of Britons finally heading out after months of lockdown.
Allergen levels will skyrocket through the coming days driven by the switch from cold to warm weather, experts say.
Trees confused by wild fluctuations between near-tropical and Arctic spring temperatures threaten to spew out clouds of pollen.
Levels will soar ahead of this weekend, the first for months when Britons can finally enjoy the countryside, coasts and pub gardens.
Airborne allergens expert Max Wiseberg said: ‘The end of this week is going to see a massive pollen bomb explode in the UK, creating hay fever misery for the 10 million sufferers.
‘Following the spell of warm weather in March, the recent arctic conditions stopped the trees producing pollen.
‘But now the weather is hotting up again, many trees will be releasing their pollen all at the same time this Thursday and Friday.’
The warning comes as forecasters predict temperatures are set to rise closer to where they should be for early spring.
An Arctic plume smothered Britain earlier this month pushing temperatures well below-average for the time of year.
The mercury is forecast to rise into double figures widely this weekend and into the second half of April.
A Met Office spokesman said: ‘There will be showers for southeast England on Thursday.
‘Otherwise, it will be widely fine and settled with sunny spells, turning a little warmer by day into the weekend though still cold overnight with frosts.’
The Met Office predicts pollen levels to reach high across the UK by the end of the week.
Levels will remain high in southern and western Britain through the weekend, according to government experts.
The main culprit will be tree pollen which will fill the air as the weather improves, according to the University of Worcester and the National Pollen Monitoring Network.
A spokesman said: ‘It is peak period for tree pollen, birch and ash, across the country.
‘Sunny weather will allow a high risk.
‘Plane tree pollen will be high risk in London and other cities where this type is planted.’
On Monday, Scotland had its coldest April temperature in eight years when the mercury plunged to -9.4C (15F) at Tulloch Bridge, in Inverness-shire, one day after -8.3C (17F) was recorded at the same location the previous day.
Speaking about the especially cold weather in Scotland, Ms Maxey said: ‘This is caused when you have very sunny days at this time of year. You don’t have any cloud cover to hold in the heat.
‘The start of April has been pretty cold in Scotland, with the average day time temperature 2.7C below what we would expect. As for the mean temperature, Scotland is 3.5C cooler than average.’
It comes as beer gardens and outdoor dining areas in England were allowed to reopen in line with the latest easing of Government lockdown restrictions on Monday.
Chaos descended on the streets of York as post-lockdown revellers hurled each other to the ground and brawls broke out near to newly reopened pubs.
Shocking footage captured at least five people piling onto each other in the scuffle outside the King’s Arms beer garden on the second day of resumed outdoor service.
A young woman in fluffy slippers was seen dragging another out of the melee by her hair before flinging her onto the cobbles as horrified members of the public watched on.
Some 14 million pub bookings have been made in the stampede to secure beer gardens for the weeks ahead as the country looks towards brighter weather and loosened Covid-19 restrictions.
However, Boris Johnson has warned people to ‘show restraint’ after revellers were seen sprawled on streets of town centres following the first day of boozing under his roadmap out of lockdown.
The fight in Yorkshire, which left at least one man wounded, was uploaded to social media by a local resident, who captioned it: ‘Didn’t take long for York to get back to normal.’
Mr Johnson said on Tuesday that people shouldn’t become careless now that restrictions were starting to be eased, cautioning that it was because of lockdown rules that virus transmission is reduced, not the vaccines.
‘At the moment I cannot see any reason for us to change the roadmap or deviate from the targets we’ve set ourselves,’ he said. ‘But it is very very important that if we are to get there in the way we want, that people continue to be cautious, and exercise restraint.’
Thousands of drinkers were seen flocking to their usual hangouts, albeit with outdoor seating, in London, Manchester and other major cities yesterday afternoon.
London’s Soho was packed as bars set-up outdoor seating areas in the street to welcome back customers for the first time since December.
And at one pub, the Fox on the Hill, in London, the whole parking area was converted into a make-shift outdoor area – which was this afternoon filled with revellers rushing to return to their local watering hole.
One drinker declared: ‘Happy to announce that I have a hangover after a night in a pub’ while another celebrated a ‘cracking day’. Meanwhile one reveller spoke for many when she said: ‘The hangover from April 12 is really like no other’.
But many were still sinking pints this afternoon and enjoying so-called liquid lunch breaks out in the sunshine.
Dubbed the Glorious Twelfth, Monday also heralded the return of hairdressers, gyms and non-essential shops.
Drinkers outside the Cafe Boheme bistro on Old Compton Street in Soho, central London, on Tuesday night
Crowds pack outdoor seating to enjoy drinks in central London for the first time in months on Tuesday
People drinking outside in London on Tuesday after Boris Johnson reopened pubs, bars and restaurants for outdoor dining
Drinkers outside a restaurant in Soho on Tuesday after the Government re-opened outdoor drinking and dining on Monday
Police officers cut through crowds packing the streets of London for a drink and a bite to eat amid lockdown easing
Sporting his own trimmed-back trademark blonde locks in Downing Street, the PM warned: ‘Clearly yesterday people have been able to go to the pub, to go shopping, get a haircut and so on, and that’s great.
‘The numbers are down, of infections and hospitalisations and deaths. But it is very important for everyone to understand that the reduction in these numbers has not been achieved by the vaccination programme – it’s the lockdown that has been overwhelmingly important in delivering this improvement in the pandemic.
‘And so, yes of course the vaccination programme has helped, but the bulk of the work in reducing the disease has been done by the lockdown.
‘So, as we unlock the result will inevitably be that we will see more infection, and sadly more hospitalisations and deaths and people have just got to understand that.’