Forecasters have warned ‘Super Saturday’ could be a washout amid fears Britain’s pub gardens will be soaked on the first day they are allowed to reopen in three months following the coronavirus lockdown.
Much of the UK is facing wet conditions this weekend with the heaviest and most frequent downpours in western areas along with strong winds, which will be a blow to those looking forward to enjoying a pint or meal outside.
The Met Office said the rain will remain in the West and North West into next week, but brighter and drier weather is on the way in the South and East as many Britons head on a staycation with hotels and B&Bs also reopening.
While the rain will disappoint many people going to pubs for the first time since they were shut on March 20, it will please police chiefs who had feared a ‘real apocalyptic day’ if conditions had matched last week’s heatwave.
Britain has seen a significant change in conditions in recent days, with parts of the Lake District seeing ten weeks’ worth of rain in 24 hours, with 8.4in (213mm) at Honister Pass setting a provisional new June daily rainfall record.
People cross the road on Westminster Bridge under umbrellas in the rain in London during rush hour this morning
Much of the UK is facing wet conditions on Saturday with the heaviest and most frequent downpours in western areas
People walk under umbrellas through the rain in Westminster this morning as the capital experiences a wet start to the day
A woman shelters under an umbrella in Central London this morning as the capital is hit by wet conditions today
It follows a sweltering mini-heatwave last week which brought temperatures of at least 88F (31C) for three days a row, peaking at 92.1F (33.4C) in London on June 25, and saw a frenzied rush to beaches on the south coast.
Speaking last week during the heatwave, Metropolitan Police Federation chairman Ken Marsh had said of the pubs reopening: ‘If the weather is as it is now when they reopen then we could be in for a real apocalyptic day.’
Much of England and Wales experienced rain this morning
Conditions were dull and cloudy for much of the UK today with some rain in England and Wales, including in London. In Scotland and Northern Ireland there was a mixture of sunny spells, showers and thundery rain.
This evening there will be patchy rain in Northern Ireland, Wales and southern England, along with sunny spells in southern Scotland and parts of central and northern England, although winds will be gentle.
Cloud and widespread light rain will arrive tomorrow morning, but heavy rain is likely in South East England and eastern and central Scotland before sunny intervals and showers develop in southern England later.
Thursday will be generally dry and cloudy but there will be showers in Northern Ireland, Wales and southern England with gentle winds, while on Friday outbreaks of heavy rain will sweep eastwards across the country.
The Met Office outlook for this weekend said it ‘looks unsettled with showers or longer spells of rain, heaviest and most frequent for some western areas’.
A man holds onto his umbrella while a woman looks at her phone while taking cover from the rain in London this morning
Two people cross the road in the rain in Westminster this morning as last week’s heatwave becomes a distant memory
Commuters in the rain in London this morning as much of England and Wales experiences showers today
A pedestrian takes cover under an umbrella while talking on their phone during downpours in London this morning
The forecast added: ‘Strong winds look set to accompany these wet conditions, again strongest in the west. Temperatures will vary around average for the time of year though the west will be mainly rather cool.
‘There will, however, still be some drier and sunny interludes. Changeable weather will probably continue in the second week of July although the rain may become more confined to the west and northwest with the best of any drier, brighter weather more likely across the south and east of the UK.
‘Into the following weekend there are signs that the weather may become drier, more settled and warmer again, particularly for southern and many central parts.’
Officials in Bournemouth declared a major incident last Thursday after the seafront was overwhelmed by 500,000 visitors who left 33 tonnes of litter amid illegal camping, littering, drunken fights and gridlock on the roads.