With families heading abroad over the next few days fearing that airport chaos could ruin their Easter holidays, the forecast for Britain might leave them wondering why they even bothered to book a foreign trip.
For parts of the UK are set to enjoy warm temperatures over the four-day bank holiday, starting off with 21C (70F) on Good Friday in South East England – above a swathe of European holiday islands where Britons are heading.
The warmth compares to 20C (68F) in both Mallorca and Madeira, and 18C (64F) in Ibiza, Malta and Crete. England will also be warmer than Barcelona (19C/66F) and Porto (18C/64F) and on a par with Nice and Athens (21C/70F).
The pleasant UK temperatures are expected to remain until at least Easter Sunday before dropping only slightly into Easter Monday, with the record for the hottest day of 2022 so far expected to be broken in the next few days.
The warmest day of the year so far was March 23, when 20.8C (69.4F) was recorded at St James’s Park in London. But temperatures are now rising again, and Holbeach in Lincolnshire was yesterday’s hotspot with 20.4C (68.7F).
Meanwhile the Met Office has warned hayfever sufferers that pollen levels will be high in all of England and Wales over the next few days – with tree pollen including elm, ash and birch currently posing the biggest risk.
A dog walker at sunrise on Tynemouth beach in North Tyneside this morning as temperatures warm up ahead of Easter
A cyclist makes their way through Richmond Park in South West London this morning as the sun rises
Today, early outbreaks of rain and drizzle across Scotland will clear eastwards during the morning and it will then be mainly dry with thick cloud breaking to reveal spells of sunshine, the best of these being in England and Wales.
Forecasters said there is also a chance of showers or spots of rain developing throughout the day, before this evening will be largely dry with late spells of sunshine and any daytime showers will clear.
Overnight will then be dry with long and clear spells although patches of mist and fog will form. Thick cloud will also build across Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and western England by dawn, bringing spots of drizzle
Tomorrow, early patches of mist will clear and it will then be mainly dull and cloudy during the day with outbreaks of rain spreading across Northern Ireland and western Scotland but will be mostly light and patchy.
Bright or sunny spells will break through the thick cloud cover across England and Wales later – before Friday brings a generally dry with bright or sunny spells and variable amounts of cloud.
There is also a chance of showers or rain in the West. Saturday will be dry with long spells of sunshine however there will be variable cloud cover across northern and western areas bringing a chance of showers
Met Office meteorologist Aidan McGivern said of today’s weather: ‘It’s a dull and damp start for many – a lot of low cloud, mist and fog around some southern and western coasts.
‘It will slowly brighten up inland and the rain for North East Scotland eventually peters out, but a good deal of cloud remains for eastern Scotland whilst sunny spells emerge elsewhere.
‘And, as temperatures rise, heavy showers will develop particularly for the Heart of England and Wales, eastern Wales as well as central England seeing the potentially for some fairly lively downpours.
‘Away from the showers though, high teens and in places low-20Cs – could see a 22C (72F) somewhere from the West Country through to the East of England.
Surfers enter the North Sea against the backdrop of a glorious sunrise on Tynemouth beach in North Tyneside this morning
Cyclists make their way through Richmond Park in South West London this morning as the sun rises
Surfers go into the water at sunrise on Tynemouth beach in North Tyneside today, two days before the Easter weekend
‘And further north it will also be a little milder compared to Tuesday with the wind coming in from a different direction and taking that rain away with it.’
Looking ahead, he continued: ‘On Wednesday night, clear spells breaking out, still a few showers continuing especially towards the North East but otherwise a drier interlude and on Thursday, brighter skies for many – and that warm weather continues into the start of the Easter weekend.’
It comes as consumer groups called on the Government to get tough on the aviation industry – including giving authorities the power to fine airlines – as the airport travel ‘shambles’ at airports continued today.
Holidaymakers again faced ‘carnage’ at Manchester Airport this morning, with long check-in queues and delays at the security – while arrivals at Stansted were waiting in ‘snail’s pace’ queues at passport control.