Brits set to bask in 22c heatwave this weekend after washout

Sunny weather is set to return to the UK this weekend despite May being one of the wettest on record.

Brits can look forward to basking in a 22c heatwave as hot air from the Atlantic grips the nation.

In what are expected to be far higher than average temperatures for the month, London and Leeds are tipped to enjoy the best of the warm weather, with the rest of the country seeing the mercury reach the high teens.

The gloomy weather, however, looks set to continue until Saturday, with rain and high winds predicted over the coming days.

The Met Office said showers are forecast today, while tomorrow and Friday could even lead to weather warnings due to 60mph gusts, hail and torrential downpours.

Meteorologist Craig Snell said that the south east saw the heaviest rain yesterday, with 16mm falling in 12 hours over Goudhurst in Kent.

And he predicted more of the same until the weekend because of a deep band of unseasonal low pressure on Thursday and Friday, with some coastal areas hit the hardest.

The bad weather could cause disruption in some areas.

"We're expecting in the South West and the south Wales coasts gusts reaching 60mph. Inland, potentially 40-50mph," Mr Snell said.

"This time of year, with the trees in full leaf, it could potentially bring some small branches down and because there's a lot more outdoor furniture, we advise people that it is a bit vulnerable to strong winds and to tie it down."

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The heaviest rain will be in northern England, north Wales, Northern Ireland and southern Scotland, he added, with up to 70mm of rainfall on the high ground in Wales.

Mr Snell said that while no weather warnings were currently in force, the Met Office will keep a close watch on conditions.

He added: "We are keeping a very close eye on it, I don't think any warnings will be issued today but there's a possibility as we go into tomorrow."

But the expected return of sunny weather will be a welcome surprise for many Brits, in what will be the first weekend since lockdown restrictions were eased further on Monday.

England entered Step Three of the government's roadmap on May 17, allowing for pubs and restaurants to reopen indoors, and groups of six people or two households to mix indoors.

Hugging others, overnight stays and holidays abroad are also now permitted, while face masks are no longer needed in secondary school classrooms.

Universities can also now deliver in-person teaching, and cinemas and theatres have reopened.

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