With the May bank holiday almost upon us, plans are being made to make the most of the extra day off from work.
Recent changes to lockdown rules have seen non-essential shops, gyms and hairdressers reopen, as well as zoos and theme parks.
There have also been relaxations to the restrictions in the hospitality sector, with many pubs, restaurants and cafes offering outdoor table service.
Lockdown easings vary across the UK but all four nations - England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - will have establishments open in time for May bank holiday.
Yet, with alcohol not yet permitted to be served inside, a lot hinges on the weather…
This is what the forecast is saying.
What is the May bank holiday weather forecast?
Following a glorious spell of sunshine across most parts of the UK, the weather will turn a little cooler in the run up to the May bank holiday over 1-3 May 2021.
Sunny spells are still expected but they will be joined by a scattering of showers which could be heavy in places, particularly in the north and midlands.
The temperature is expected to drop, especially out of the sun, with occasional overnight frost leading into Friday and Saturday, which will see more of the same.
According to the Met Office a mixture of sunshine, showers, and a cold east to northeasterly wind will welcome people into the May bank holiday weekend.
With regards to Saturday, the Met Office forecasts: “A scattering of showers again, especially during the afternoon, with the odd heavier one still possible. Rather chilly but light winds and occasional sunshine should help to offset this.”
And for Sunday to Tuesday: “Sunshine and showers on Sunday before many see a wet and windy day on Monday, clearing back to sunshine and showers for Tuesday. Still chilly with some night frost.”
What is the long range weather forecast?
The long range forecast used by the Met Office is for making weather predictions five days ahead and beyond for the UK as a whole.
These predictions like any are changeable with the possibility of small events over the Atlantic Ocean having potentially bigger impacts on the UK’s weather.
The modeling is to give people “a general feel of the weather to a relatively high level of accuracy” and becomes harder to gauge on a more local level at that time.
Shorter range forecasts offer a higher degree of accuracy on a local level and are updated more regularly throughout the day.
Why do we have a May bank holiday?
The first bank holiday in May is known as May Day and is observed on the first Monday of May each year in celebration of spring, with festivals often planned.
Traditions of the May bank holiday include dancing and singing, as well as the age old pastime of heading to the pub to see friends and family members.
It is the first of two three-day weekends in May with the spring bank holiday taking place on 31 May, meaning many workers will have another extended break to look forward to.
Both May bank holidays are observed on the same dates by the four nations of the UK, despite some variations in other bank holidays between England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.