May Bank Holiday will be coldest for 41 years with minus 6C chills, frost and snow and sleet on way

Wrap up warm! May Bank Holiday will be coldest for 41 years with minus 6C chills, frost and snow and sleet on way as 13million are set to hit the roads

  • The weather conditions could spur on a ‘motoring mayday’ according to the RAC
  • It is said to be the busiest for drivers, as 1.5million more road users will be out
  • Widespread freezing temperatures and frost are due, with daytime showers across the weekend

This year’s May Bank Holiday could be the coldest for 41 years as temperatures are expected to drop as low as -6C.

Snow and frost which is expected to creep in from Friday could put a halt to the 13 million drivers who are expected to hit the roads over the weekend.

The Met Office has warned of snow and sleet flurries on the high ground in the Midlands, northern parts of the UK and even some areas of the south across Friday and Saturday.

The unpredictable weather conditions could spur on a ‘motoring mayday’, as research from the RAC reveals that this weekend will be the busiest on the roads in three years.

Britain will nudge the coldest May Bank Holiday for 41 years with -6C and snow and frost from Friday

Britain will nudge the coldest May Bank Holiday for 41 years with -6C and snow and frost from Friday 

The Easter break earlier this year caused havoc for many road users and they could face a similar situation this bank holiday weekend

The Easter break earlier this year caused havoc for many road users and they could face a similar situation this bank holiday weekend

A map (above) shows the areas of the country which will be most affected by the poor weather conditions

A map (above) shows the areas of the country which will be most affected by the poor weather conditions 

Friday is expected to be busiest for those embarking on car journeys, with 1.5 million more users hitting the roads than the same day last year.

This is while on a weather front -5C is due Friday night and -6C threatens Saturday with Sunday night into Monday almost as cold. Even the South is due -4C.

Widespread freezing temperatures and frost are due, with daytime showers.

The coldest early May Bank Holiday temperature recorded since the holiday began in 1978 is -5.9C on May 7, 2012, at Kinbrace, Sutherland, Scotland, Met Office records show.

Today's UV index looks balanced across the whole of the UK and is set to remain at a moderate level

Today’s UV index looks balanced across the whole of the UK and is set to remain at a moderate level

Heavy traffic plagued roads across the UK over Easter and it could be worse this Bank Holiday as even more people are expected to be going away

Heavy traffic plagued roads across the UK over Easter and it could be worse this Bank Holiday as even more people are expected to be going away

Up until Monday we will see highs of just 11-14C, but with drier skies and sunny spells on Sunday and Monday.

Met Office forecaster Mark Wilson said: ‘Cold air of Arctic and polar origin will arrive from Friday and through the Bank Holiday weekend.

‘Forecasts can change. If high pressure had been over Scandinavia, we’d have had a southerly flow – but high pressure being to the west of the UK means a northerly flow, as winds blow clockwise around high pressure.

‘Snow and sleet could be seen on Friday and Saturday on the highest ground of the Peak District, Pennines and Scotland, with a small chance on the Chilterns.’

He added that widespread front could also be seen.

Pictured above is the late Bank Holiday in May last year, as traffic built on the M25 in Essex. Road users could face similar conditions this year

Pictured above is the late Bank Holiday in May last year, as traffic built on the M25 in Essex. Road users could face similar conditions this year 

The pollen count remains moderate for most of the country but will be high in the south of England

The pollen count remains moderate for most of the country but will be high in the south of England

Last year drivers clogged up the M25 in Dartford, Kent, as they headed off for the Bank Holiday

Last year drivers clogged up the M25 in Dartford, Kent, as they headed off for the Bank Holiday

‘It could drop to -5c on Friday night and Saturday night in the North, with a low chance of -6C, and -4C on Saturday night in the South, with Sunday night a bit less cold with frost in places.

‘Highs will be 11-14C, but Sunday and Monday will be dry and sunny spells and will feel pleasant enough in the sunshine out of the breeze.’

The weather conditions could mean that drivers start off the day with a breakdown, if their battery is already on the blink, according to the RAC.

RAC Breakdown spokesman Rod Dennis said: ‘Despite it looking like the weather will take an usually cold turn for the start of May – certainly after the recent Easter heatwave – our figures suggest drivers are still keen to make the most of the long weekend, with significantly more saying they are planning a leisure trip by car this year than in recent years.’

He added that the cooler conditions could cause batteries to give up completely.

‘There is a risk that drivers will suffer their own ‘motoring mayday’ if they are not careful, since the colder nights we’re about to experience could be enough to cause some older car batteries to finally give up the ghost – seriously disrupting plans for a getaway. 

‘Luckily, temperatures will rise during the day and it isn’t due to be a wash-out.

One of last year's May bank holiday weekends saw people flocking to the parks to enjoy the sun, however we may not be so lucky this weekend

One of last year’s May bank holiday weekends saw people flocking to the parks to enjoy the sun, however we may not be so lucky this weekend

On May 28 2018 beaches were busy as many took a trip to the seaside to enjoy the weather (Lock Morlich near Aviemore)

On May 28 2018 beaches were busy as many took a trip to the seaside to enjoy the weather (Lock Morlich near Aviemore)

‘The advice is again to try to use the roads when they are quieter, which primarily means avoiding Friday afternoon and evening if possible, and setting off earlier on Saturday, especially if travelling any great distance.’

The Met Office also said April’s weather had been breaking records and had generally been a dry month.

‘After a cold, and in some places wet, start to the month, many will remember the exceptionally warm and sunny weather across the UK over the Easter weekend. 

‘A number of records were broken including it being the hottest Easter Monday on record in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Over the Easter weekend a total of 18 weather stations across the UK broke their April temperature records.’ 

 

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