Parts of the UK enjoyed their balmiest day of the year so far, as Britons prepare to sizzle on what is set to be the hottest Bank Holiday Monday since records began.
The mercury hit 22.3C in Edinburgh, while 20.8C was recorded in Katesbridge in County Down – resulting in Sunday recorded as the hottest day of 2018 in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Temperatures could soar to 28C in parts of England as people round off their three-day weekend – making it the hottest Bank Holiday Monday in 40 years.
The May Bank Holiday was introduced in 1978 and the temperature has never topped the 28C mark since then.
The South East, East Anglia and the Midlands will feel the heat most.
The weather is set to become mixed as the month progresses, and the May 19 wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle draws near.
Met Office forecaster Charlie Powell said: “It looks like we should be prepared for some pretty changeable weather throughout the second half of May.
“We’re still going to see some dry days, but there’s still going to be some wet days mixed in as well.”
Referring to the day of the eagerly anticipated wedding, Mr Powell added: “We’ve got this idea that there could be some warmer spells, most likely across the south and east of England, so at least that bodes well for wedding locations and things like that.”
He said temperatures will generally be above normal, but this will depend on whether it is a sunny day or a sunny wetter day.
“So it doesn’t look like it’s going to carry on in a similar kind of vein to high pressure in charge, sunshine, light winds, high temperatures, that we have now.
“Neither does it look like it’s going to be a complete washout, horrible end to the month of May.
“But I think we can expect things to be not as warm as they are now, but also not as dry as they are now,” he said.
Mr Powell added: “Fingers crossed it all kind of ties in with one of the drier days.”
#GatwickAirport - The queue time at Gatwick Airport to board a bus is currently 2 hours and it is strongly advised to not travel towards Brighton today.— National Rail (@nationalrailenq) May 6, 2018
Looking at temperatures for Bank Holiday Monday, the forecaster said the highs of 28C were not going to be widespread.
“That’s going to be the exception rather than the rule. I think for most places, if you take the bulk of England and Wales for example, we’re looking at somewhere around the low to mid 20s mark,” he said.
Meanwhile, Southern Rail advised passengers for Brighton and the South Coast not to travel on Sunday due to overcrowding.
Replacement buses were also provided due to engineering works, and at one point National Rail said there was a two-hour wait to board a bus at Gatwick Airport.
📢👷🚧 This May bank holiday, engineering works will be carried out to deliver rail upgrades across our network. Please remember to check before you travel. #MayBHWorks— Southern (@SouthernRailUK) May 6, 2018
â¹ï¸More info - https://t.co/nTikYmDgIk
🗺ï¸ Plan ahead - https://t.co/HKst5ZYijJ pic.twitter.com/3m6WOnSA4X
Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said: “Passengers will rightly be frustrated to find they can’t travel on the bank holiday weekend.
“These works and the weather were no surprise – so why has Southern failed to provide enough rail replacement buses?
“We’ll be working with the operator to find out what went wrong and to ensure that passengers aren’t left high and dry next time they plan a trip to the seaside on a weekend.”
Southern said disruption is expected until the end of the day.