The outlook for the May Day Bank Holiday weekend

The Bank Holiday forecast shows rain for many parts of the UK, but particularly the north-west, with heavy bursts affecting western Scotland, Cumbria, the northwest of Wales and parts of Northern Ireland from Sunday night into Monday. It will be less cold than it has been recently, although the wet and windy weather will not make it feel too warm.

Saturday should be a reasonable day for many with sunny spells, although still with showers scattered around, some of which could be heavy.

Central, southern and south-eastern parts of Britain will experience a bright start on Sunday. However, thicker cloud, accompanied by freshening winds, will spread from the north-west to reach most parts by the end of the day, although south-eastern and eastern parts will stay mostly dry.BHDeputy Chief Operational Meteorologist, Laura Gilchrist said: “The heaviest and most persistent rain is likely over the high ground of north-western UK later on Sunday and into the start of Monday.

“It will become windy in most places this weekend, with gales in exposed areas in the north-west. There is a low risk of severe gales developing in the far north-west at times.”

The rain will clear south-eastwards during Monday, revealing a mixture of sunshine and showers. The rain is expected to have cleared from south-east England by the evening.

Laura added: “Those spending time outdoors in north-western UK on the Bank Holiday Monday should be prepared for the risk of frequent blustery showers, which could be accompanied by a risk of hail and thunder. These showers could fall as snow on Scottish mountains, although it’ll be less wintry than it has been of late.”

Although the forecast features rainfall across parts of the UK on Monday, contrary to popular belief, Met Office figures reveal it doesn’t always rain on the May Day Bank Holiday.

The May Day Bank Holiday was introduced across the whole of the UK in 1978. Average records for England, since 1978, reveal that over one third (14) of the 38 May Day Bank Holidays have been largely dry (receiving 0.2mm rain or less).  However, last year’s May Day Bank Holiday (graphic below) was the wettest in England, as an average of 12mm rain fell. An average of eight millimetres of rain fell across the UK overall.

Rainfall May Day Bank Holiday 2015

According to the records, England and Wales have had the largest number of largely-dry May Day Bank Holiday Mondays with 14 of the years since 1978 having days of 0.2mm of rain or less. Scotland had the fewest number of virtually-dry days with nine. Northern Ireland has recorded 13 days with rainfall of less than 0.2mm.

May Day Bank Holiday UK Average rainfall

With an average of 11mm of rain, the 2004 May Day Bank Holiday was the wettest in the UK.

According to the records, none of the four UK countries recorded an average of more than 5mm between 1998 and 2001.

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