Heavy rain and thunder will sweep across Britain this weekend, bringing an abrupt end to the country’s short-lived heatwave.
After some light showers in the south, late afternoon downpours are expected to sweep across Northern Ireland before moving across parts of Scotland, West Wales and the Lake District with temperatures dropping to 23-24C in the south of England.
On Saturday the cloud band will see rains drench the south coast with some heavier showers expected in Eastbourne and Brighton and temperatures hitting a maximum of 22C.
There is said to be a lighter interlude on Sunday, when sunny spells are forecast for most parts of England and Wales – although there is still a chance of scattered showers.
The abrupt end to Britain’s short-lived heatwave comes just days after hundreds of sun-seekers flocked to Bournemouth, Dorset and Cornwall to enjoy sizzling temperatures of 25C at the start of the official school holidays.
Despite a “troubled outlook” for Britain next week, the Royal Horticultural Society said this year’s weather has created optimal growing conditions for summer blooms. Pictured: Giselle Silvester, a horticultural apprentice, working in the shrub rose garden at RHS Garden Rosemoor near Great Torrington, Devon
Today Met Office forecaster Graham Madge told MailOnline: “It’s a pretty choppy outlook. We have a bit of a mixed picture today so we have showers in the south and then some downpours will occur. It’s not breaking in the southwest yet, but I think it will break elsewhere.
‘Warmth coming through and some sunny spells. Tonight we have rain showers. They will move east. We have a weather front coming. It will begin to hit Northern Ireland in the afternoon and then move east.
“The heaviest rain is likely to fall over parts of Northern Ireland, Scotland, West Wales and the Lake District.
“Then overnight that band of rain will fragment to some extent leaving a more patchy rain which looks heavy and there could be some heavier outbursts over north west England so Morecambe, Blackpool and that type of area. The Lake District and Pennines could see some heavier outbursts of rain.
“If we go through tomorrow it will be off to a good start for many but there will be some periods of heavy rain, particularly towards mid to late afternoon on the south coast. So there is a feature moving up the English Channel that will bring some heavier rain to the south coast with places like Eastbourne and Brighton seeing some heavier showers.
“But right now there is a little uncertainty about how far north this weather system will move. At the moment it doesn’t look like it’s going to extend far beyond Surrey, but if it moves a little further north we may be able to see those heavy showers further inland and towards London.
“We have clear skies across the UK on Sunday evening. We will see the potential for showers and strong winds in the NW. So from the North West I am looking at North West Scotland.”
The “troubled outlook” comes after the Royal Horticultural Society said this year’s weather had created optimal growing conditions for summer blooms – due to a warm, wet winter followed by the sunniest May on record and a rain shower in June.
Early bloomers such as lilies, rhododendrons, irises, roses and hydrangeas were plentiful and had an extended season, while midsummer flowers such as verbena, rudbeckia, helenias and geraniums are now showing their best.
On Saturday the cloud band will rain a little more heavily up to the south coast (left) and there will be sunny sections until Sunday (right)
Pictured: Gardener Sue Key tends her colorful flowers at RHS Garden in Wisley, Surrey, as Britain sees a mix of rain and shine
Guy Barter, Head Gardener at the Royal Horticultural Society, described the reasons for this year’s exceptional flowering: “The lack of frost and the light, warm start to the year meant really good growth, which helped produce large bulbs and lots of them.
“The sunniest May on record was followed by an unusually wet start to summer, with England recording 43% more rainfall last month than the June average, according to the Met Office.
“This combination of weather phenomena has meant that the sunshine has gotten early summer flowers to bloom earlier, while the welcome extra rain has helped extend their season for a longer period of time.
“And all of this combined has produced the best crop of herbaceous plants seen in years.” But the Meteorological Bureau’s forecast for the coming days will dampen any chance of enjoying the blooms.
Forecasts assume a changeable start to the school holidays with unsettled conditions until at least the first week of August.
The Met Office forecast for the remainder of the coming week reads: “The unsettled theme appears likely to continue with scattered showers and high winds interspersed with sunny spells across much of the country.” More rain and strong winds are expected in early August, with the “best dry weather” in the south.
“It is generally likely to be rather cool for much of the country, with warmer spells more likely in the south-eastern parts,” the Met Office adds.