- Severe weather warnings have been issued for today and Easter Monday
- Storm Katie could bring down trees and power cables bringing disruption
- Engineering works on railways and crowded motorways to add to misery
- There was a flurry of bets Easter would be wettest since records began
The Bank Holiday weekend started with welcome sunshine yesterday, but the rest of it is likely to be a windy washout for many as Storm Katie blows in from the Atlantic with winds of up to 70mph.
Severe weather warnings have been issued for today and Easter Monday, when up to 2in of rain are expected.
Storm Katie is likely to bring down trees and power cables in places and make travel difficult as the Bank Holiday draws to an end. Engineering works on railways and crowded motorways will add to travellers’ woes.
The Met Office forecast Storm Katie to hit on Monday morning with the potential for 50-60mph gusts to come across inland areas. Pictured, a huge frontal system will sweep across Britain from the middle of the Atlantic, bringing torrents of rain to the area
There had been a flurry of bets that this Easter would be the wettest since records began, but after forecasters said this was unlikely, the bookmaker Coral cut the odds from 4-1 to 2-1.
The Easter record stands at more than 5.8in of rain near Blaenau Ffestiniog in Gwynedd in 1963, but the Met Office predicts there will be no more than 2in this weekend.
Much of the country was sunny yesterday and temperatures as high as 60F (15C) were recorded in central London. In Manchester, Cardiff and Bournemouth the mercury hit 55F (13C),and in Bristol 59F (15C).
Thousands of holidaymakers flocked to the beach in Bournemouth to enjoy the sand under cloudless blue skies. Tom Crocker, from the Met Office, said: ‘Friday was certainly the best day of the Easter weekend.
‘There was lots of sunshine and not much cloud around. Along the south coast there were almost completely unbroken skies.’
But he added: ‘It’s all a bit downhill from there for the Easter weekend. We’ve issued severe weather warnings for Saturday.
Sunworshippers and holidaymakers flocked to Brighton’s beach on Friday to soak up some rays while the sun was still shining
Forecast: It has been predicted that the bank holiday weekend will start off brightly but move on to be wet and very windy
‘There’s the potential for coastal areas to see gusts of 50-60mph. It’ll start off relatively dry but a fairly intense band of rain arrives by afternoon.
‘It will still be quite windy on Sunday and possibly quite a few heavy showers, but there will be some dry spells.’
On Monday, the next weather warning will be in place with prolonged rain. Frank Saunders, chief meteorologist at the Met Office, said: ‘Southern England and south Wales will see very strong winds from the early hours of Monday.
‘Exposed south and west-facing coasts could even see gusts of around 70mph, with the possibility of large waves.
‘We expect the winds will start to ease in south-western Britain from mid-morning, this improvement reaching other areas by late afternoon or early evening.’
Mr Saunders added: ‘There is some uncertainty about the track that Storm Katie will take, so we urge everyone, especially those travelling on Easter Monday, to look out for the latest information from the Met Office.’
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