UK weather forecast: Thirsty Britons pile into beer gardens in glorious 66F sunshine


Thirsty Britons have piled into beer gardens to bask in the glorious 66F (19C) sunshine today with more warm weather to come tomorrow.

Balmy temperatures have hit the West Midlands, North-West England, South and West Wales and Ayrshire this afternoon with sunshine for most parts on Saturday, according to the Met Office.

Bookmaker Coral has slashed the odds to 2-1 on next month being the hottest May ever, and also made it 11-8 that the UK will record its highest ever temperature at some point this year.

This month is on course to be one of the driest Aprils on record with the UK seeing just 18 per cent of its average rainfall, putting the month in line for a place in the history books if the weather continues in this vein.

But the dry conditions could lead to wildfires, with the Scottish and Fire Rescue Service (SFRS) issuing an extreme warning covering Southern and Central Scotland, and warning of a very high risk across North West Scotland.

The warm break comes after the UK shivered through the coldest start to April since 2013. The Met Office said mean temperatures were 2-4C cooler than average for the time of year between April 1 and April 18. 

Pictures show people piling into beer gardens to make the most of the sunshine today after Covid restrictions were eased on April 12, allowing pubs to reopen for outdoor dining and drinking.

People enjoy drinks at a pub’s beer garden while enjoying the sunshine in Canonbury, North London today. There has been an average of 12.8mm of rain across the UK up to April 22, much lower than the April average of 72.53mm

A man in a rowboat travels along the River Thames at Kingston upon Thames in Surrey. Much of the nation can expect to bask in daytime temperatures in the mid-to-late teens on Friday

A man in a rowboat travels along the River Thames at Kingston upon Thames in Surrey. Much of the nation can expect to bask in daytime temperatures in the mid-to-late teens on Friday

People are seen enjoying the warm spring sunshine on the beach at the seaside resort of West Bay in Dorset on a day of clear blue skies

People are seen enjoying the warm spring sunshine on the beach at the seaside resort of West Bay in Dorset on a day of clear blue skies

A map from the Met Office showing the maximum temperatures forecast across the UK for Saturday. Much of the nation can also expect to bask in daytime temperatures in the mid-to-late teens today

A map from the Met Office showing the maximum temperatures forecast across the UK for Saturday. Much of the nation can also expect to bask in daytime temperatures in the mid-to-late teens today

There has been an average of 12.8mm of rain across the UK up to April 22, much lower than the April average of 72.53mm, according to Met Office figures.

A typical April in the UK would have had 70 per cent of its rainfall by now, but it instead has just had 18 per cent. 

The driest April on record across the UK was in 1938 when 14.1mm of rain was recorded, followed by April 1974 when 14.6mm of rain fell.

In more recent years, the driest Aprils in the UK have been in 2007 when 26.6mm of rain was recorded and 2020 when the average was 29.1mm.

The South East has seen just 7 per cent of the average rainfall this month, with 4.1mm of rain falling. The driest April in the South East was in 1912 when 4.8mm was recorded.

SFRS’ local senior officer Bruce Farquharson said: ‘We are asking the public to exercise extreme caution and think twice before using anything involving a naked flame. 

‘Many rural and remote communities are hugely impacted by wildfires, which can cause significant damage.

‘Livestock, farmland, wildlife, protected woodland and sites of special scientific interest can all be devastated by these fires – as can the lives of people living and working in rural communities.’ 

People enjoy drinks in a pub's beer garden in the sun at Canonbury in North London. Covid restrictions have been eased across England, meaning pubs, cafes and restaurants are now open for outdoor drinking and dining

People enjoy drinks in a pub’s beer garden in the sun at Canonbury in North London. Covid restrictions have been eased across England, meaning pubs, cafes and restaurants are now open for outdoor drinking and dining

People are seen at a pub's beer garden in North London. The South East has seen just 7 per cent of the average rainfall this month, with 4.1mm of rain falling. The driest April in the South East was in 1912 when 4.8mm was recorded

People are seen at a pub’s beer garden in North London. The South East has seen just 7 per cent of the average rainfall this month, with 4.1mm of rain falling. The driest April in the South East was in 1912 when 4.8mm was recorded

People celebrating St George's Day enjoy a drink at the outdoor seating area of Leadenhall Market in London, following the easing of lockdown restrictions across England

People celebrating St George’s Day enjoy a drink at the outdoor seating area of Leadenhall Market in London, following the easing of lockdown restrictions across England 

Two people enjoy drinks at a pub's beer garden in Canonbury, North London, today after Covid restrictions were eased on April 12

Two people enjoy drinks at a pub’s beer garden in Canonbury, North London, today after Covid restrictions were eased on April 12

A group of people seen sat at an outdoor table in North London. Forecasting today's weather, Met Office meteorologist Aidan McGivern said: 'That sunshine will soon lift temperatures, and it's looking like a very similar day to Thursday'

A group of people seen sat at an outdoor table in North London. Forecasting today’s weather, Met Office meteorologist Aidan McGivern said: ‘That sunshine will soon lift temperatures, and it’s looking like a very similar day to Thursday’

Pictures show people piling into beer gardens to make the most of the sunshine today after Covid restrictions were eased on April 12, allowing pubs to reopen for outdoor dining and drinking (pictured: Canonbury, North London)

Pictures show people piling into beer gardens to make the most of the sunshine today after Covid restrictions were eased on April 12, allowing pubs to reopen for outdoor dining and drinking (pictured: Canonbury, North London)

Punters enjoy drinks outside a pub in Islington, North London, this afternoon after the easing of lockdown restrictions

Punters enjoy drinks outside a pub in Islington, North London, this afternoon after the easing of lockdown restrictions

People are seen drinking outside in Islington today. The warm conditions will give way to a chilly evening, before the mercury picks back up again on Saturday

People are seen drinking outside in Islington today. The warm conditions will give way to a chilly evening, before the mercury picks back up again on Saturday

A group of four are seen dining and enjoying beverages at a pub's beer garden in Islington, North London, this afternoon

A group of four are seen dining and enjoying beverages at a pub’s beer garden in Islington, North London, this afternoon

He added: ‘These fires can also have a hugely negative impact on the environment and the release of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.

‘Human behaviour can significantly lower the chance of a wildfire starting, so it is crucial that people act safely and responsibly in rural environments, and always follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.’ 

Much of the nation can expect to bask in daytime temperatures in the mid-to-late teens on Friday, however the north-eastern coast of Scotland will struggle to get out of single digits.

Forecasting today’s weather, Met Office meteorologist Aidan McGivern said: ‘That sunshine will soon lift temperatures, and it’s looking like a very similar day to Thursday. Widespread blue skies, just some additional cloud there for central and northern Scotland. For the vast majority it is dry and light winds for most.

‘But we keep that keen breeze over the South West. Again, gusty conditions over the moors and western parts of Devon, as well as Cornwall.

People are seen on the beach and seafront enjoying the warm spring sunshine on the seaside resort of Lyme Regis in Dorset this afternoon on a day of clear blue skies

People are seen on the beach and seafront enjoying the warm spring sunshine on the seaside resort of Lyme Regis in Dorset this afternoon on a day of clear blue skies 

Sunbathers pictured on the beach in Lyme Regis, Dorset, today. A typical April in the UK would have had 70 per cent of its rainfall by now, but it instead has just had 18 per cent

Sunbathers pictured on the beach in Lyme Regis, Dorset, today. A typical April in the UK would have had 70 per cent of its rainfall by now, but it instead has just had 18 per cent

Harvey Clitheroe and Sophie Hergot enjoy a dip in the North Sea this afternoon as beachgoers enjoy the sunshine at Cullercoats Bay in North Tyneside

Harvey Clitheroe and Sophie Hergot enjoy a dip in the North Sea this afternoon as beachgoers enjoy the sunshine at Cullercoats Bay in North Tyneside 

A man paddles a racing canoe along the River Thames at Kingston upon Thames in Surrey. This month is on course to be one the driest Aprils on record with the UK seeing just 18 per cent of its average rainfall

A man paddles a racing canoe along the River Thames at Kingston upon Thames in Surrey. This month is on course to be one the driest Aprils on record with the UK seeing just 18 per cent of its average rainfall

People sunbathe in the warm spring sunshine at St James' Park in London as forecasters predict warmer weather over the weekend with higher temperatures

People sunbathe in the warm spring sunshine at St James’ Park in London as forecasters predict warmer weather over the weekend with higher temperatures

Visitors to Westgate Gardens in Canterbury, Kent, enjoy the warm spring weather both on and off the River Stour

Visitors to Westgate Gardens in Canterbury, Kent, enjoy the warm spring weather both on and off the River Stour

Commuters in central London jog in the sun this morning as the capital enjoys warm weather today. Balmy temperatures are forecast for the West Midlands, North-West England, South and West Wales and Ayrshire this afternoon

Commuters in central London jog in the sun this morning as the capital enjoys warm weather today. Balmy temperatures are forecast for the West Midlands, North-West England, South and West Wales and Ayrshire this afternoon

Kayakers paddle along the River Tyne towards the Millennium Bridge on Newcastle Gateshead quayside this afternoon while enjoying clear blue skies and sunny weather

Kayakers paddle along the River Tyne towards the Millennium Bridge on Newcastle Gateshead quayside this afternoon while enjoying clear blue skies and sunny weather 

Commuters walk across London Bridge in the sunshine this morning as fine weather hits the capital. Bookmaker Coral has slashed the odds to 2-1 on next month being the hottest May ever

Commuters walk across London Bridge in the sunshine this morning as fine weather hits the capital. Bookmaker Coral has slashed the odds to 2-1 on next month being the hottest May ever

Commuters cross London Bridge his morning. Covid restrictions have eased across England with cafes, bars and restaurants now open for outdoor drinking and dining

Commuters cross London Bridge his morning. Covid restrictions have eased across England with cafes, bars and restaurants now open for outdoor drinking and dining 

Two joggers bask in the sunshine as they go for a run in central London this morning. The warm break comes after the UK shivered through the coldest start to April since 2013

Two joggers bask in the sunshine as they go for a run in central London this morning. The warm break comes after the UK shivered through the coldest start to April since 2013

The sun hits the Shard, London's highest building, as commuters cross London Bridge today. The Met Office said mean temperatures were 2-4C cooler than average for the time of year between April 1 and April 18

The sun hits the Shard, London’s highest building, as commuters cross London Bridge today. The Met Office said mean temperatures were 2-4C cooler than average for the time of year between April 1 and April 18

‘Feeling cool where we’ve got the onshore breeze, 10C (50F) to 13C (55F), perhaps around some particularly exposed coast, but inland 14C (57F) to 17C (63F) fairly widely, 18C (64F) or 19C (66F) possible in some favoured spots.’

The warm conditions will then give way to a chilly evening, before the mercury picks back up again on Saturday, though the weather service said it would remain cooler in the east of England. 

Mr McGivern said: ‘For most it’s another sunny day to come on Saturday. Bit more of a breeze there across southern parts of the UK, especially across the South West, but actually perhaps a slightly warmer day in one or two spots around the South coast for example.

’16C (61F) to 19C (66F) but feeling notably cooler, especially where we’ve got cloudy skies around North Sea coast on Saturday.’ 

SFRS' local senior officer Bruce Farquharson said: 'We are asking the public to exercise extreme caution and think twice before using anything involving a naked flame'

SFRS’ local senior officer Bruce Farquharson said: ‘We are asking the public to exercise extreme caution and think twice before using anything involving a naked flame’

A woman poses for a photograph in an avenue of blossom trees in bloom in Greenwich Park, south London, ahead of BlossomWatch day which takes place on Saturday

A woman poses for a photograph in an avenue of blossom trees in bloom in Greenwich Park, south London, ahead of BlossomWatch day which takes place on Saturday

A woman poses for a photograph with a rainbow umbrella in Greenwich Park. The National Trust has encouraged members of the public to share images online and 'spread the joy of spring with others' ahead of BlossomWatch day

A woman poses for a photograph with a rainbow umbrella in Greenwich Park. The National Trust has encouraged members of the public to share images online and ‘spread the joy of spring with others’ ahead of BlossomWatch day

People go for a walk in the early morning sunshine at Blackhouse Woods in Reading today. The dry conditions could lead to wildfires, with the Scottish and Fire Rescue Service (SFRS) issuing an extreme warning for Southern and Central Scotland

People go for a walk in the early morning sunshine at Blackhouse Woods in Reading today. The dry conditions could lead to wildfires, with the Scottish and Fire Rescue Service (SFRS) issuing an extreme warning for Southern and Central Scotland

The sun rises over the River Avon in Warwick this morning. Britain is set for a mini-heatwave this weekend with temperatures forecast to soar and high pressure expected to shift around northern Europe over the coming days

The sun rises over the River Avon in Warwick this morning. Britain is set for a mini-heatwave this weekend with temperatures forecast to soar and high pressure expected to shift around northern Europe over the coming days

Two people enjoy the early morning sunshine in Warwick. The warm conditions will give way to a chilly evening, before the mercury picks back up again on Saturday

Two people enjoy the early morning sunshine in Warwick. The warm conditions will give way to a chilly evening, before the mercury picks back up again on Saturday

People go for a walk as the sun rises over the River Avon today. The high pressure shift around northern Europe is expected to bring hot air towards the UK this weekend for a 72-hour heat blast

People go for a walk as the sun rises over the River Avon today. The high pressure shift around northern Europe is expected to bring hot air towards the UK this weekend for a 72-hour heat blast

The dry and sunny conditions are expected to persist on Sunday, but forecasters said England’s east may have a little more cloud cover.

Conditions should remain fine in the south heading into early next week but will likely turn more unsettled elsewhere with rain and showers spreading south-east.

Meanwhile, Coral’s Harry Aitkenhead said: ‘We’ve come through a frosty start to April and the thermometers are going to continue to rise now. We think there’s a chance of next month entering the record books as the warmest May we’ve ever had.

‘Looking further forward, our odds show there’s a possibility of our warmest ever summer as well as the UK maybe seeing 40C (104F) recorded for the first time ever.’ 

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