Will the relentless rain relent for Easter?

The Easter weather can be as unpredictable as the holiday's shifting date itself. Easter's date bounces around the calendar thanks to its connection to the lunar cycle. This means Easter can fall anywhere from late March to late April, leaving the weather up for grabs. In 2024, Easter Sunday lands on March 31st, so will we be basking in spring sunshine or battling yet more rain?
Easter bunny under a rainbow
Idyllic weather for an Easter bunny
15th March 2024

With two weeks until Good Friday and the start of the Easter period, there's still plenty of time for things to change. In the UK, weather details often don't solidify until a few days beforehand. However, even this far out we can sometimes identify broad trends. This could include whether drier or wetter conditions are favoured, and if temperatures will be above or below average. But remember, if anyone claims to predict the exact day it will snow, rain, or shine – be very sceptical! 

Will the rain abate?

Autumn and winter were very wet in much of the UK and there has been further heavy rain in recent days. Many fields are still flooded, but as the growing season starts and trees begin to take up water it should gradually dry out. However, will the seemingly relentless rain relent during the Easter weekend?

In a word the answer is: probably not. Computer models are suggesting low pressure will be close to the UK, with high pressure centred to the north. That combination suggests further spells of wet weather and the possibility of colder air pushing down from the Arctic into Scotland.

The chart below shows forecast pressure patterns for Saturday, 30th March. Low pressure is centred to the west of the UK, suggesting an unsettled pattern with the threat of showers or longer spells of rain throughout the Easter weekend.

Easter 2024 weather forecast chart
Easter 2024 weather forecast chart

Due to low pressure systems potentially being displaced further south, the risk of wet conditions in the usually drier parts of the UK is higher than normal. Therefore, even southern and south eastern England could be facing wet weather at times.

Can we expect spring warmth?

Despite the wet conditions and chilly start, the Central England Temperature (CET) for March is at the time of publication above the 1961-90 average. In the short term it is set to rise further with a very mild southwesterly flow bathing the UK in early spring warmth. However, the pattern suggested for the Easter period would lead to an increased risk of colder air pushing down from the north, or an easterly flow which could bring chilly and cloudy days.

The maximum temperature forecast chart below for Saturday 30th March is generated by combining forecasts from many computer model runs. 

Easter 2024 forecast temperatures
Temperature forecast chart for Easter weekend

Because the chart shows averaged forecasts, it does mask a wide range of possible outcomes. So warmer and colder scenarios are also predicted, but the average gives some guidance to the most likely outcome. At this stage cold conditions look unlikely, as do notably warm conditions.

Don't panic yet

The prospects look mixed at best, with showers or longer spells of rain possible in all of the UK. Over high ground in Scotland sleet or snow wouldn't be out of the question if a plunge of colder Arctic air reaches the UK. 

Nonetheless, there is still plenty of time for the forecast to improve and spring sunshine could still be on the cards for Easter weekend. The UK weather is notoriously fickle, especially during this time of the year when winter transitions to spring. So keep up to date with the developments through the coming days as forecasts begin to firm up. 

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