UK weather: Temperatures to hit 24C as lockdown eases

27 March 2021, 08:50 | Updated: 27 March 2021, 18:26

The country could be basking in 24C weather this week
The country could be basking in 24C weather this week. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Some Brits could be basking in temperatures as hot as 24C this week as England's "stay at home" order ends.

A wet start to the weekend across the country is expected to lead into a potentially record-breaking hot spell, with the Mercury possibly hitting 24C in south-east England by Tuesday.

That could make it only the second day in March that the temperature has reached this high in records going back to 1884.

The maximum temperature recorded in March was 25.6C, on March 29 1968 at Mepal in Cambridgeshire.

Explained: What lockdown restrictions are lifting in England on 29th March?

Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said: "Temperatures of 24C or above have only been recorded on one day in March - March 29 1968 - when a range of stations recorded high temperatures, with the maximum being 25.6C at Mepal in Cambridgeshire.

"Therefore if temperatures rise to 24C next week, that will be only the second day in records going back to 1884 that the UK has seen a March temperature reach 24C."

From Monday, people will be allowed to socialise in groups of up to six
From Monday, people will be allowed to socialise in groups of up to six. Picture: PA
People enjoy the weather at Sandbanks beach, Dorset
People enjoy the weather at Sandbanks beach, Dorset. Picture: PA

From Monday, those in England will be able to meet in groups up to six from two households, as long as they are in outdoor spaces.

The nation has been in a third national lockdown since early January, with people only allowed to see one other person from another household.

From Monday, residents in England should be able to:

  • Follow the rule of six - you will be allowed to meet up in groups of six, or two households, again outdoors. No meeting in homes is permitted.
  • Outdoor sport and leisure facilities can resume business.
  • Organised outdoor sports for children and adults are permitted again.
  • Outdoor parent and child groups, with a maximum of 15 parents, can take place.

In Wales, the "stay local" message has been lifted, and the tourism sector will be able to start re-opening from today.

Read more: Wales tourism sector to reopen in next stage of lockdown easing

The rules changing from Saturday include:

  • Organised outdoor activities and sports for children and under
  • 18s to take place and up to six people from two different households to meet and exercise outdoors.
  • Self-contained holiday accommodation, including hotels with en-suite facilities and room service, will be able to reopen to people from the same household or support bubble.
  • Six people from two different households, excluding children under 11, will be able to meet and exercise outdoors and in private gardens;
  • Organised outdoor activities and sports for children and under 18s will be able to resume;- Limited opening of outdoor areas of some historic places and gardens;
  • Libraries and archives will be able to re-open.

The Met Office said that while Friday will be a cold night most areas will remain above freezing except sheltered locations in northern England and Scotland which could see dips down to minus 1C or minus 2C.

There will be some wintry showers in places with some lying snow possible over hills further north, while Saturday will start off cold with a risk of frost.

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But following the cold snap, the weather will split along north and south lines, the Met Office said.

The northern half of Britain will see strong winds and heavy rain, particularly in parts of western Scotland where a Yellow warning for rain is in force for 48 hours from 6pm on Sunday.

People in these regions can expect to see 80-100mm of rainfall with the potential for 150-250mm over the highest ground, the Met Office said.

Meanwhile, in sheltered central and southern parts of the UK the weather will be calmer, with temperatures climbing to highs in the low 20Cs, the Met Office said.

Met Office Chief Meteorologist Andy Page said: "From Saturday we are going to see a change in weather across the UK, with the northern and southern parts of Britain experiencing quite marked differences.

"The northern half of Britain will see strong winds and heavy rain, especially in parts of Western Scotland where a Yellow warning for rain will be in force for 48 hours from 6pm on Sunday evening.

"However, in sheltered central and southern parts of the UK, weather conditions will be much calmer with temperatures climbing in the March sunshine to highs into the low 20s, with the possibility of 24C in south-east England by Tuesday."

The Met Office said that the weather is expected to change again from the middle of the week, with signs that cold air from the north could bring another dip in temperatures for Easter weekend.

There is also the risk of some wintry showers in the North East, forecasters added.

The coldest Easter weekend on record was in 2013 when minus 12.5C was recorded at Braemar in Aberdeenshire, on Easter Sunday, while the deepest snow recorded at Easter was on Good Friday came in 2010 when 36cm was measured at Strathdearn, Inverness-shire.

The wettest Easter was in 1991 when 108.7mm of rainfall was recorded at Seatoller, in Cumbria, on Easter Monday.