UK weather: Mercury soars as Britain braced for record-breaking Easter Sunday

Phoebe Southworth
Beachgoers enjoy the hot Good Friday weather in Bournemouth - image taken by drone - Chris Gorman/ Big

Britain could be set for its hottest ever Easter Sunday as a "Greek plume" caused temperatures to soar at the start of the bank holiday weekend.

Parks and beaches were packed with sunseekers on Good Friday, and could enjoy highs for up to 25C on Saturday and Sunday as an 880-mile gust of hot air blows across the Mediterranean.

Met Office forecasters said the warm spell could see individual records broken on Easter Sunday, as well as Easter Monday.

The warmest Easter Sunday previously recorded was 25.3C in Solent, Hampshire, on 24 April 2011.

Meanwhile the hottest temperature recorded this year was 21.2C in Kew, West London, on 26 February.

Bournemouth was one of many beaches packed with day-trippers on Good Friday Credit: BNPS

The Met Office has forecast "plenty of warm sunshine across the UK" over the weekend as supermarkets brace themselves for a spike in sales of barbecue food and ice lollies.

Forecaster Mark Wilson said: “Warm air coming from south-east Europe around Greece and Italy means an Easter weekend with plenty of sunshine.

As warm weather sets in across the country on Good Friday, pilgrims carry crosses to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne in Northumberland during the annual Christian Easter pilgrimage Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

“In Scotland, Good Friday looks like 20C. 22C is possible on Saturday. It will be cooler into Monday in Scotland. “In England, 24C is due on Saturday and Sunday, and to get to 25C would need more prolonged sunshine.”

As temperatures soar, some 15 million drivers are expected to take to the roads as families head off on weekend getaways.

Traffic jams were expected to peak today, with major routes becoming clogged between 11am and 4.30pm as some 4.4 million journeys are made, according to the RAC.

RAC Traffic Watch spokesperson Rod Dennis said there will be lengthy queues in some areas and advised motorists to check their tyres, petrol, and oil and coolant levels before setting off. 

The warm weather is expected to last throughout the Easter weekend Credit: Paul Jacobs

Dan Croft from mobility analytics provider INRIX said: "We are predicting Good Friday will be the worst for traffic from late morning into the afternoon.

"For drivers looking to avoid the worst congestion, the best options are to travel on Saturday, set off early in the morning and keep updated with real-time traffic data.”