August Bank Holiday weather: Met Office forecast after wash-out summer - will UK bask in sunshine at last?

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Summer 2023 has been a disappointment so far, it’s safe to say- will we finally bask in sunshine during the last Bank Holiday of the year?

Summer 2023 has proven a huge disappointment for the majority of Brits. Despite July being the world’s hottest month on record since 1880, it was also one of the UK’s wettest - and it feels like we’ve been contesting with frequent downpours and mostly dull, cloudy conditions ever since.

With autumn now on the horizon, people are no doubt hoping the upcoming Summer Bank Holiday (Monday, August 28) will be a chance to bask in some much-needed sunshine. But while temperatures are expected to remain relatively high, it doesn’t look like the weather is set to improve much.

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According to the long range forecast from the Met Office, the UK is in for a mixture of sunshine and showers towards the end of August. Southern areas may see some drier spells, while northern and western areas of the UK have the “greatest likelihood of seeing frequent rainfall, which at times may become locally heavy or thundery”.

“Occasional strong winds are possible, especially in the north, and becoming slightly more likely towards the end of the month,” the forecast reads. Temperatures are generally likely to be “around average for late August”, but it could feel warm in any sunny spells.

However, where there is prolonged rain or wind, however, it may feel slightly cooler. Early September is likely to see further “unsettled conditions” affecting the UK, with the southern regions continuing to be the most likely to see any drier weather.

Holidaymakers brave the rain on Blackpool promenade on August 14.Holidaymakers brave the rain on Blackpool promenade on August 14.
Holidaymakers brave the rain on Blackpool promenade on August 14. | Getty Images

Why is it raining so much?

According to the Met Office, the amount of rain which falls across the globe is determined by two things - how warm the air is and the movement of weather patterns across the world. Hotter air can hold more moisture and if there is an unlimited water supply, such as an ocean, then warmer air draws up extra moisture. This then means that there are clouds containing a greater number of larger rain droplets and this can be why showers in summer are often heavier than in winter. Any shifts in weather patterns will lead to some regions becoming drier and others becoming wetter.

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A Met Office spokesperson told The Metro: “A southern shift of the jet stream, which is a core of strong winds around five to seven miles above the earth’s surface, has pushed high pressure southwards across Europe, whereas I am sure you are aware, they are seeing some very warm temperatures at the moment. However, this has resulted in low-pressure systems being directed towards the UK, bringing more unsettled and cooler weather that we are currently experiencing here in the UK.”

They added: ‘It is not unusual for the UK to see unsettled weather in the summer months. For example we saw Storm Evert at the end of July 2021 and Storms Ellen and Francis in August 2020.” As the climate continues to warm, heavy rainfall events like storms are expected to become more common.

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