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Easter weather forecast: Four-day bank holiday weekend could be washout, Met Office warns

The coming Easter weekend could be a washout, forecasters have warned, just weeks after England had its wettest 18 months since records began in 1836.

The meteorological winter, from December last year to the end of last month, was among the wettest on record, Met Office data shows. Many parts of southern England recorded well over twice the average rainfall last month, leading to travel chaos caused by flooding.

And the rain is set to resume over the long bank holiday weekend at the end of this month, forecasters predict. It marks a stark contrast to Wednesday - the first day of spring - on which temperatures in some parts of England topped 18C.

The Met Office’s long-range forecast for the next fortnight - which includes the bank holiday weekend from Friday 29 March to Monday 1 April - says everywhere is likely to be wet at times.

“Through the bank holiday weekend and into the following week, unsettled or changeable weather remains the most likely outcome,” the forecast states. “All areas are likely to see further rain or showers at times, with some drier spells in between. Wet weather will tend to favour the southwest, while northern parts remain a bit drier on average.”

Temperatures will probably continue near normal for the time of year, the forecast adds.

Last month, 57 flood warnings and 190 flood alerts were in place across England, as well as several alerts in Wales amid heavy downpours that caused flooding on road and railway lines.

Several schools in Herefordshire and Worcestershire closed because of rising water levels and “treacherous” road conditions after rain fell on groun that was already saturated. Many roads across the West Midlands were submerged, and some rail services were replaced by buses.

Downpours are expected over the Easter bank holiday weekend (Danny Lawson/PA)
Downpours are expected over the Easter bank holiday weekend (Danny Lawson/PA)

Farmers said crops were ruined, leading to lower yields of certain veg such as cauliflowers.

More than 1,000 properties were flooded in early January, and rivers across the country burst their banks.

Met Office forecaster Simon Partridge said at this stage the Easter bank holiday weekend was quite a long way off in weather terms, but added: “Some models suggest that conditions could be more settled by the Monday, but this comes with a large amount of uncertainly at this time.

“As we get nearer the time confidence in the forecast will grow, particularly after the coming weekend.”

Early next week, in the run up to Easter, the weather will turn unsettled across most of the UK, the experts say, as two weather systems bring rain or showers to most areas, with strong winds in places and temperatures near to a little below normal for late March.

The north of the UK could stay relatively drier, with some wintry showers possible for northern Scotland on Monday.

The damp forecast comes after the UK experienced temperatures topping 18C on the first day of spring (MET OFFICE)
The damp forecast comes after the UK experienced temperatures topping 18C on the first day of spring (MET OFFICE)

Met Office 4 Day Outlook

Thursday:

Low cloud and fog clearing in the south, and staying mostly dry with hazy sunshine. Rain and strong winds in the north moving southeast, with sunshine and blustery showers behind.

Friday to Sunday:

Turning colder with a mix of sunshine and blustery showers on Friday and Saturday, these perhaps wintry in the north and west. Showers easing in the west through Sunday.