Weather forecast: UK Met Office predictions for August bank holiday weekend 2021 - will there be sun or rain?

It’s the last bank holiday weekend in England, Wales and Northern Ireland before Christmas - but will the weather play ball?

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At times it might not have felt like it, but the summer has so far been around one degree warmer than average, potentially putting it in the top 10 warmest UK summers on record.

That’s according to the Met Office, who say high temperatures in Scotland and Northern Ireland (the southeast and London have had a much wetter and duller summer than average) have helped pull the UK to within the top 10 for warmest summers according to mean temperature.

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The news comes ahead of the August bank holiday, which gives those looking for their last summer staycations the chance to get away from it all for a few days.

But how exactly will the weather behave over this weekend, and will it be in the holidaymakers’ favour?

Here is everything you need to know.

What is the bank holiday weather forecast?

According to the Met Office, the August bank holiday weather will be largely dry.

There will be some “variable cloud”, though in areas lucky enough to experience sunshine, it will feel warm.

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Through Friday afternoon, cloudier zones and isolated light showers might leave some areas with a damp beginning to the weekend, but there will be some warm sunny spells elsewhere.

Coastal areas, particularly in the east, will feel noticeably cooler, as will areas with persistent cloud cover.

Into Friday evening, conditions will remain mostly the same, though thicker low cloud and fog for some north west coastal areas could affect visibility, and scattered showers in the far southeast will bring some moisture.

On Saturday, most areas will stay dry with sunny spells, with some pleasantly warm temperatures come the afternoon.

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Some eastern coasts will be cooler, with the odd shower in the southeast.

Into the tail end of the long weekend, and it is expected to remain fine and dry for most, with the best of any sunshine and warmest temperatures in the west; it will be cloudier and cooler for eastern parts where it will be breezy.

What will the roads be like?

Traffic queues to board a ferry at Dover Port in August 2019 (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)Traffic queues to board a ferry at Dover Port in August 2019 (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Traffic queues to board a ferry at Dover Port in August 2019 (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

While the weather might be looking decent enough in your chosen destination, actually getting there is half the battle.

There could be a 25 per cent increase in delays compared with a typical August as millions of people embark on a bank holiday getaway, and drivers are being warned to avoid embarking on a bank holiday getaway on Friday afternoon.

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Transport analytics firm Inrix said motorists should set off after 7pm to miss major traffic jams.

The South West is expected to bear the brunt of the traffic over the weekend, with journey times on classic holiday routes such as the M5 and A303 more than doubling at certain times.

RAC Breakdown spokesman Rod Dennis said: “It’s been an incredibly busy summer on the UK’s roads with vast numbers of people on the move both for staycation holidays and for day trips to the sea and countryside.”

Inrix analyst Bob Pishue said: “Drivers hitting the road for one last getaway before the end of summer should expect long delays on key corridors.

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“Knowing when and where congestion will build can help drivers avoid the stress of sitting in traffic.

“Our advice is to avoid travelling in the afternoon. Leave early in the day or be prepared for some travel times to double.”

National Highways, recently rebranded from Highways England, said around 98 per cent of England’s motorways and major A roads will be free of roadworks over the weekend.

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