Heatwave takes a rain check as forecasters say downpours could last until mid-May


Britain suffers first wet lockdown day: Heatwave takes a rain check as forecasters say downpours could last until mid-May after sunniest April since 1929 comes crashing to an end

  • The ‘unsettled’ theme will last into beginning of next month with conditions more ‘settled’ from May 11 onward
  • Temperatures plummeted by 50F on Monday night with the mercury dropping to around 52C in London today
  • It follows Met Office announcing the sunniest April since records began in 1929 with 212.5 hours of sunshine

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Downpours could last until mid-May as temperatures plunge by 50F overnight – in stark contrast to the rest of this month which saw the sunniest April since 1929, according to forecasters.

The Met Office said the ‘unsettled’ theme will likely last into the beginning of May, becoming more ‘settled’ into the second week, May 11 onward, with ‘mixed’ conditions until the end of the month.

Temperatures plummeted by 50F (10C) on Monday night with the mercury dropping to around 52F (11C) in London today.

London’s Trafalgar Square pictured looking empty on a wet and miserable Tuesday morning during the coronavirus lockdown, bringing the recent April heatwave crashing to an end with heavy showers and thunder expected on Thursday

It follows the weather service announcing the sunniest April since records began in 1929 with 212.5 hours of sunshine so far, compared to 211.9 hours in 2015.

But the latest forecast brings the lockdown heatwave crashing to an end with heavy showers and thunder expected on Thursday.

Met Office Meteorologist Bonnie Diamond told MailOnline: ‘Several weather fronts bringing rain across England and Wales today, we could see 5-15mm of rain within 12 hours, with a few spots seeing 20mm. 

‘It is still mostly dry and sunny for Northern Ireland and Scotland today, however tomorrow will see bands of rain moving across all parts of the UK as low pressure returns more widely.’

For today’s forecast, the Met Office said: ‘Cloudy across much of England and Wales with outbreaks of rain moving northwards, heavy in places, and feeling chilly. Brighter across Scotland and Northern Ireland with just a few showers.

‘Rain across England and Wales turning light and patchy, but leaving extensive mist, drizzle and low cloud. Clear spells over Scotland leading to a frost in places.’

The empty spaces of London this morning. It follows the Met Office announcing the sunniest April since records began in 1929 with 212.5 hours of sunshine so far, compared to 211.9 hours in 2015

The empty spaces of London this morning. It follows the Met Office announcing the sunniest April since records began in 1929 with 212.5 hours of sunshine so far, compared to 211.9 hours in 2015

A woman riding a bike attempts to shelter from water being sprayed by a passing lorry during a heavy downpours on the A40 at Perivale in West London. The public can only leave their homes for exercise or essential shopping during lockdown

A woman riding a bike attempts to shelter from water being sprayed by a passing lorry during a heavy downpours on the A40 at Perivale in West London. The public can only leave their homes for exercise or essential shopping during lockdown

Twitter users reacted to the abrupt change in conditions, with one posting: ‘Lovely start to the day. Loving the sound of rain for a change. Refreshing.’

Another wrote: ‘There’s something quite reassuring about the fact that, amid a global pandemic, rain is trending on Twitter in the UK.’

A third added: ‘It’s rained all night but I suppose that makes it easier to stay at home.’

A fourth said: ‘Feel like I’ve come back off holiday from Costa del Garden.’

For Thursday to Saturday, the Met Office added: ‘Sunny spells and showers for most parts, some heavy with thunder on Thursday. 

This month saw the sunniest April since records began

The heatwave has been brought crashing to an end as 5ml to 15ml of rain is expected widely across the UK today

This month saw the sunniest April since records began (left), but the heatwave has been brought crashing to an end as 5ml to 15ml of rain (right) is expected widely across the UK today

Customers at B&Q in Charlton, South London, shelter from the rain under umbrellas as they queue outside the branch. Met Office meteorologist Bonnie Diamond said the UK could see '5-15mm of rain within 12 hours' and '20mm in a few spots'

Customers at B&Q in Charlton, South London, shelter from the rain under umbrellas as they queue outside the branch. Met Office meteorologist Bonnie Diamond said the UK could see ‘5-15mm of rain within 12 hours’ and ’20mm in a few spots’

‘Longer spells of rain possible on Saturday. Likely becoming warmer in the south on Saturday.’

In its longer-term forecast, the weather service wrote: ‘Looking slightly ahead into the beginning of May, the unsettled theme is likely to continue as Atlantic weather systems bring further bands of rain across to many areas, particularly in the south and the west of the UK.’

It said the second week of May has the ‘best chance’ of more ‘settled and drier’ period with the ‘chance of thundery showers’ for a few days, then conditions looking ‘mixed’ until the end of the month.

Bookmaker Coral makes it odds-on at 1-2 for next month being the wettest May on record in the UK.

Coral’s John Hill said: ‘It’s going to be a damp start to the new month and our betting suggests there is a strong chance it will end as the wettest May on record in the UK.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk