The rise in temperatures is a result of a change in where the air reaching the UK is coming from. Last week cold arctic air brought the wintry conditions. By this coming weekend an area of low pressure means a southeasterly flow will bring in warm air from the near continent.
Temperatures will rise to widely exceed 20 Celsius on Sunday, and we could see highs of 25 or 26 C. Whilst these temperatures are much higher than the UK average maximum temperature for May of 14.7 C, they are still several degrees shy off the UK’s May record of 32.8 C, reached in 1922 and 1944.
Some thundery showers are likely on Saturday, particularly over western England and Wales, and rain is likely for parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland. Otherwise this weekend is looking mainly dry with plenty of warm sunshine.
There’s a slight catch to the warmer, sunny weather. Tree pollen levels are forecast to reach moderate or high in many parts of the UK through the next few days.
Also, the combination of southeasterly winds and settled conditions across the UK will result in a reduction of air quality across some parts of the country into the weekend. Most people will not be affected by short term peaks in air pollution. However, some individuals, particularly vulnerable groups such as those with existing heart or lung conditions, may experience increased symptoms. You can see the latest air quality forecast on the uk-air website.
It is important that everyone ensures they enjoy the summery weather safely. Dr Jana Witt, Cancer Research UK’s health information officer, said: “Enjoying the sun safely and avoiding sunburn can reduce your risk of malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer. The best way to protect skin when the sun is strong is to spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm, and to cover up with clothing including t-shirt, hat and sunglasses.” You can use our UV forecast pages to keep up to date with what is expected for your area.