Bank holiday weather watch

Easter weekend forecast

Easter weekend forecast

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Most of the UK might be waking up to a fine morning today, but the Met Office are advising of a changeable Easter weekend, with heavy rain, gales, hail and even thunderstorms expected in some parts of the country.

Good Friday will bring plenty of dry weather, with frequent sunny spells. Highs of 14 or 15 Celsius are likely, however, there may be some lingering rain in the south-east at first and it will turn cloudier in the north-west later, ahead of some wet and windy weather.

On Saturday a band of often heavy rain is going to move from west to east across the county, with the chance of some snow over the high ground in Scotland. It will also be windy with gales in exposed areas, these perhaps locally severe. Clearer but more showery conditions will follow later on, and some of the showers are likely to be heavy and thundery with hail possible.

A severe weather warning has been issued for Saturday, with most of England and Wales set to be hit by strong winds.

Deputy Chief Operational Meteorologist at the Met Office, Dan Harris said, "An active frontal zone will advance eastwards bringing strong winds and heavy rain. Gusts of 45 to 55 mph are likely quite widely, with exposed coastal areas likely to see more frequent gusts of 55 to 65 mph.

"The largest rainfall totals on Saturday are expected over north-western areas. Here we're likely to see 20 to 40 mm widely and perhaps as much as 50 mm in exposed sites."

Easter Sunday will bring a mix of sunshine and heavy showers. Some further hail and thunder is expected and the showers will be wintry over northern mountains. The strongest winds will be in the north at first but some wet and very windy weather may arrive in the south-west later.

Most places should then start Easter Monday dry and bright, though the wet and very windy conditions in the south-west are expected to extend north-eastwards across the southern half of the UK. Gales could become widespread across the south and south-east with severe gales possible along the south coast, although there is currently a large amount of uncertainty concerning the exact track of this feature. Areas further north should be calmer with lighter winds, bright spells and only a few showers.