London24NEWS

Time to interrupt out the barbecues as summer time lastly arrives within the UK

  • Euro 2024 final – England v Spain – Olympiastadion Berlin – Sunday, 8pm (UK)

Britain is set for sunnier skies over the coming days with highs of 23C (73F) – just in time for England’s Euro 2024 final against Spain this Sunday.

The Met Office is predicting drier conditions for the country with bright spells from today and temperatures that will reach around average for this time of year.

It follows a dismal start to July with parts of England – especially East Anglia, the Midlands and South East – already having about a month’s worth of rain. Since 2000, only one June and early July – in 2012 – have been as cold in the UK as this year.

But the mercury is expected to hit 23C (73F) this afternoon in some parts of southern England with sunny spells forecast amid the odd shower. The temperature will then drop slightly to 18C (64F) in the North and 19C (66F) in the South by Saturday.

By Sunday, London will have an average maximum of 23C that will continue through to Tuesday, while Birmingham will see highs in the 20Cs over the three-day period.

On the south coast, Bournemouth will be 22C (71F) today, and 20C (68F) to Tuesday.  And Manchester will average between 20C and 21C (21F) from Sunday until Tuesday.

The normal high for July in London is 23.5C (74.2F), based on the weather station at Northolt. In Birmingham it is 21.5C (70.7F), and in Manchester it is 20.0C (68F). 

A runner goes for a jog in the hazy morning sunrise on a lane in Dunsden, Oxfordshire, today

A runner goes for a jog in the hazy morning sunrise on a lane in Dunsden, Oxfordshire, today

The sun rises over fields in the Oxfordshire countryside at Dunsden early this morning

The sun rises over fields in the Oxfordshire countryside at Dunsden early this morning

Met Office forecaster Annie Shuttleworth said today will be ‘disappointingly cool’ in many areas – with rain expected in Wales, the Midlands and northern  England.

But she said finer weather could emerge in the North West this evening ‘because we do have a ridge of high pressure building in from the north and west to end the week’.

Ms Shuttleworth added: ‘That means there will be more in the way of drier and brighter weather just for a few days.’

BBC Weather forecaster Matt Taylor said ‘temperatures will lift a little this weekend’, although he warned there was also the prospect of ‘some rain around at times, particularly on the eastern coasts’.

The positive forecast for this weekend will please those planning to have a barbecue and enjoy the weather on Sunday before England’s Euro 2024 final.

It comes after Ollie Watkins struck at the death to send England to their second successive European Championship final as Gareth Southgate’s side dug deep to see off the Netherlands.

The eyes of the nation were fixed on Dortmund yesterday evening as the Euro 2020 runners-up looked to seal a shot at history in Sunday’s Berlin showpiece against favourites Spain.

Harry Kane’s spot-kick cancelled out a superb Xavi Simons opener before Watkins stepped off the bench and wrote his name into the history books by sealing a 2-1 triumph in the 90th minute.

No English men’s team has made it to a major final on foreign soil before and now they have the chance to become European champions for the first time this weekend.

As for the weather,  parts of England have already seen around a month’s worth of rain in July.

So far this month, the wettest spot compared to its expected monthly average was Northolt in west London, with 66mm (2.6in) of rain in the first seven days of the month – 139 per cent of the total that would normally be expected for the whole of July.

In Scotland, two flood alerts were issued as July’s downpours showed no let-up, with thousands of homeowners and businesses warned they were at risk.

As roads became impassable, sandbags were handed out to residents desperate to stop floodwater ruining their homes.

More than two inches of rain was forecast to fall in parts of the North East, with the Met Office imposing a yellow weather warning across the area.

Amid the deluge, Peterhead FC called off last night’s friendly with Aberdeen over concern about fans getting to the game.

Aberdeenshire Council said it had received numerous reports of flooding causing roads to become impassable, and had warned drivers to stay at home.

The local authority said it had supplies of sandbags available for those who needed them to help protect their properties.

Just ten days into the month, Scotland has already seen 40 per cent of what is expected in a typical July with 1.6in of rain falling so far, the Met Office said.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency issued two flood alerts in Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City; and Findhorn, Nairn, Moray and Speyside.

It said: ‘There is a risk of flooding to low-lying roads and properties. Difficult driving conditions and localised disruption to travel are expected.’

As well as issues on the roads, railways were also hit by weather- related problems.

Network Rail cut speeds on sections of tracks because of what it described as ‘extreme rainfall forecast’. 

Parts of the routes from Perth to Inverness, Dundee to Aberdeen, and Aberdeen to Inverness had reduced limits.

While this summer has so far proven to be the chilliest for the UK in more than decade, it wouldn’t have been anything out of the ordinary in times past.

Analysis by Met Office expert Aidan McGivern revealed that four early summers in the 1980s were as cold or coldest than this, as were five during the 1970s.

The average temperature so far this summer – from June 1 to July 8 – was 12.85C, compared to 12.8C during the same period in 2012.

Meanwhile Wimbledon organisers face a dash to clear a backlog of matches after persistent rain led to a washout on the tournament’s outside courts.

It comes as the All England Club said it would be handing out more than £250,000 in refunds after much of the Championships was rained off on Tuesday.

England's players celebrate in the semi-final against the Netherlands in Dortmund last night

England’s players celebrate in the semi-final against the Netherlands in Dortmund last night

England fans celebrate in the stands in Dortmund last night. The team plays Spain on Sunday

England fans celebrate in the stands in Dortmund last night. The team plays Spain on Sunday

There was no play on the outside courts until 5pm and 75 of the 91 scheduled matches were cancelled. 

Some 12 matches were carried over as showers deluged the grounds throughout the day.

Thousands of the £25 Grounds Pass and £50 Court No 2 ticketholders – who were among the 34,922 attending – will be entitled to the costly refunds. 

Centre Court and Court No 1 are the only two at Wimbledon to have a roof.

Now organisers, players and fans will be hoping that yesterday’s weather sticks around – and helps to clear the backlog – after the sun finally broke through the clouds with temperatures reaching 23C (73F) in SW19.

The Met Office said more than a month’s rain – 52.6mm (2.1in) – had fallen in the first nine days of the Championships, including 5.6mm (0.2in) recorded at nearby Kew Gardens on Tuesday.