Monday, April 25, 2011

Will it rain on William and Kate's big day? Forecasters predict heavy showers in London for Royal Wedding

By Daily Mail Reporter

-Wedding day will be 'warmer than average', say forecasters
-Supermarket sales soar after rush for barbecue foods

Final preparations: Regent Street is awash with Union Jack flags ready for the Royal Wedding this Friday - but the weather forecast is threatening to put a dampener on the excitement

The Royal Wedding could be hit by heavy showers, forecasters have said as cloudier and cooler weather spread across the country today after a scorching Easter Sunday.

After an Easter weekend of sunny weather, downpours could hit both central London and Kate Middleton's hometown of Bucklebury, Berkshire on Friday.

Today London Regent's Street was awash with Union Jacks ready for Friday's celebration. With everything in place Prince William and his bride-to-be will be hoping they avoid a downpour.

However, forecasters are predicting that Friday will be warm - even if it is wet.

Helen Rossington, a senior forecaster at MeteoGroup, said: 'At the moment, it is looking like temperatures will probably be a little bit above average (on the day) and there is a risk of heavy showers.

'Temperatures will probably be somewhere in the high teens but it is difficult to pin down so far ahead.

'The weather is always changing, there is that risk that we are seeing on the current outlook that we have at the moment, but nearer the time the models might change a little bit.'

Tom Morgan, a spokesman for the Met Office, warned that the Royal Wedding day would feel much cooler in England and Wales than this bank holiday weekend.

Final preparations: William and Kate will be hoping they miss the showers when they marry at Westminster Abbey on April 29

'Generally in the London area there will be fairly cloudy skies with occasional brighter spells, but also a risk of showery rain at times,' he said.

'A brisk north-easterly wind will make it feel much chillier than of late.'

If bookmakers have an inside track on Friday's weather, all indications are that the couple will be able to take their first journey as man and wife in an open carriage.

The latest odds suggest that London will stay dry - at least for the duration of the ceremony.

Bookmaker William Hills is offering 1/5 odds that it will not be raining when the Royal party arrives at the Abbey. They are also offering 1/10 odds that the newlyweds will be able to return to Buckingham Palace after the service in an open carriage.

'The latest forecast suggests that the rain should stay away on the big day, at least until after the service,' said Hill's Royal spokesman Rupert Adams

And the rest of the country should enjoy much better weather as hundreds of street parties take place.

Western England, western Wales, the north of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland were forecast to enjoy a 'bright' day.

'All of these areas look like they are going to see a bright day with decent sunny spells and pleasant warm temperatures into the mid to high teens,' Mr Morgan said.

Bank holiday sun: People flock to the beach at Saltburn-by-the-Sea in Cleveland as the warm weather continues today - before many return to work tomorrow

Unseasonal weather: People enjoying the sun and the sea in Cleveland today - but it is expected to be cooler from tomorrow

If it rains, Prince William and Kate Middleton will leave Westminster Abbey in the Glass Coach, rather than the open-top 1902 State Landau.

The forecast comes after much of the country basked in a heatwave this bank holiday with predictions that this month will beat the 2007 record as the warmest ever April.

Many areas of London reached highs of 27C (around 82F) on Saturday with Wisley, Surrey, registering 27.8C.

Yesterday saw cooler weather with a top temperature of 25.3C (around 78F) in Lee-on-the-Solent, Hampshire, and a maximum of 24C (75F) across London.

A weak cold front over Scotland and Northern Ireland will push south today bringing cloud and some drizzle to areas such as the Pennines and mountain areas of Wales.

Temperatures will rise to a high of 22C (72F) in London and the south of the country, and between 11C and 14C (52F to 57F) in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Lindsay Dove, forecaster with MeteoGroup, said: 'Today will be noticeably cooler, across the south it will be maybe two or three degrees cooler than yesterday.

Busy bank holiday: Sonic, Bobby and Dora prepare to take daytrippers along the beach in Saltburn-by-the-Sea today. Yesterday was the warmest Easter Sunday for more than 60 years

Warm weather: Three children enjoy rides on donkeys along the beach as the country continues to bask in summer-like temperatures... and on Friday there's another Bank Holiday

'Tomorrow, it will be much cooler again.

'You are looking tomorrow at a maximum of 18C in London (64F) with Scotland and Northern Ireland looking at the same temperatures of 11C to 14C. There is going to be a breeze across the South East which is what will make it feel much cooler.'

The soaring weather last week was welcomed by retailers who reported an increase in sales, which they put down to the heat.

Supermarket chain Waitrose reported that sales on Saturday had reached more than £114.7m, up 15 per cent on last year. The store said that demand was driven by sales of barbecue foods, which had risen by 25 per cent compared with the same period in 2010.

Around ten million people took advantage of the unusual combination of good weather and a Bank Holiday weekend to take in a domestic break, according to Visit England.

In Bournemouth, 90,000 ice creams were sold over the weekend, and every one of the resort’s 16,000 hotel rooms was booked.

Changing seasons: Just days ago this field in Hambledon, Hampshire, was covered in a yellow carpet of flowers - but the view has been rapidly changed by the hot weather and the same field is now a sea of dandelion clocks

All change: Days ago the same field in Hambledon was a sea of dandelions. Yesterday was the hottest Easter Sunday for more than 60 years

The same field is now attracting pheasants scratching around for seed

Sunrise on a new dawn: Bluebells in Micheldever Wood, near Basingstoke, as the sun makes its way into the sky on Easter morning


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