Spring bank holiday weather

The spring bank holiday is on Monday 27th May. Typically, the weather conditions are mixed at this time of the year, but average temperatures are rising. Therefore, showers or longer spells of rain are a distinct possibility, but so are very warm and dry days. This can be the time of the year when the summer heat starts to show its hand. What can we expect this year?
13th May 2024

Sunshine in Salcombe, Devon
Wet weather on the way?

There are still two weeks until the bank holiday, which as many people know is an awfully long time in terms of the UK's weather. Therefore, at this stage the key is to try and identify emerging trends rather than forecast details.

In recent days it has been very warm and dry with high pressure dominating. However, a change is now taking place as areas of low pressure return and a more changeable pattern becomes established. Will this last until the end of the month? 

High pressure not likely to dominate

Most computer model runs which reach as far as the bank holiday weekend are showing low pressure having influence on the UK's weather. In broad terms that suggests changeable weather, but the exact positioning of low pressure areas would have a big impact on the details. Significant regional variations could also be possible.

One scenario has pressure centred just to the west or northwest of the UK. Whilst keeping things changeable with a risk of showers or longer spells of rain it could also lead to very warm air being pulled up ahead of it from the south or southwest. Were that to happen, the highest temperatures would probably be in the south east and East Anglia, with a greater risk of showers or longer spells of rain in the north and west. 

The chart below shows forecast pressure patterns for Saturday, 25th May. It is generated by averaging out the forecasts from many individual runs. The pattern is fairly nondescript, but there isn't a signal for high pressure to be dominant.

Weather forecast chart for 4th May 2024
Low pressure close to the UK for the spring bank holiday?

Another consideration is that in recent months low pressure systems have often been displaced further south relative to the average. That is the key reason why it has been so wet in southern Britain during recent months. If this pattern continues it suggests the driest conditions may be in the north. 

Rain may not be far away

The weather during the next two weeks is expected to be mixed with all of the UK seeing showers or longer spells of rain at times. Nonetheless, there should be some warm sunny spells too. That general pattern may remain in place through the spring bank holiday weekend, but it is too early to be confident and things could change for better or worse. 

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