Jubilee weekend weather is ‘mixed picture’ with sunshine and showers possible

Sunny spells and warmer weather are in store for most of the UK, but a risk of rain remains in parts.

31 May 2022

As the UK prepares to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, drier and warmer weather is on the way though showers threaten to dampen the festivities in some areas.

The four-day bank holiday will start off fine and bright for most, with Thursday the best day for people across the country to enjoy street parties, barbecues and other outdoor events, according to the Met Office.

Thursday, when the official programme kicks off with the Trooping the Colour military spectacle in central London, is “looking good”, Met Office spokesperson Oli Claydon said.

There will be sunny spells and temperatures are set to hit 22C in the south, though rain is likely in western Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Mr Claydon told the PA news agency: “If you look at the UK as a whole, Thursday is the better day but if you’re further north, the weather is staying brighter and finer and drier more consistently through the weekend.”

Friday – when a traditional service of thanksgiving will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral – will start dry and bright for the majority of the UK.

However, “it’s a bit of a mixed picture depending on where you are”, with “increasing cloud and then some showers moving into the south-west and also Northern Ireland”, Mr Claydon said.

A few showers could spread across the south of the UK throughout the day, while some sunshine is expected in other areas, driving up temperatures to 23C.

Saturday looks dry, with temperatures in the low 20s and spells of sunshine for much of the country as an area of high pressure moves in.

But a plume of warm air brings a risk of some heavy showers to areas “south of the M4” in England, Mr Claydon said, threatening the Epsom Derby and later the BBC’s Party at the Palace open-air concert.

Sunday promises to be dry and bright for many of the millions gathering at more than 85,000 Big Jubilee Lunches up and down the UK.

But there is a chance that the warm air edges back in to the south east and brings rain to the Jubilee Pageant parade through the streets of London.

Diamond Jubilee celebrations
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012 (Rui Vieira/PA)

“If you were to look at the northern portion of the UK, it’s a fairly decent long weekend, but the uncertainty and the chance of heavy showers in the south is still up for grabs,” Mr Claydon said.

The Met Office urged Britons heading outdoors to pack sunglasses and sun cream, as UV levels will be high when the June sun does appear.

“For the four days there’ll be a lot of dry weather around. Yes, still some showers here and there… but many places will see sunny spells and certainly after a cool start this week it is going to be feeling warmer,” Met Office meteorologist Alex Deakin said.

He said that after the unsettled and unseasonably cool start to the week, with an area of low pressure sitting right over the UK and bringing “an awful lot of showers”, “for most of us the weather’s going in the right direction” as high pressure takes over.

“There are weather fronts pinching us from the north and the south so it’s not straightforward that high pressure will bring a lot of sunny weather, but it is turning drier,” Mr Deakin said.

“And slowly, it will be turning a little warmer as well.”

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