Rain and thunderstorms set to make bank holiday weekend a washout

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Families planning a bank holiday getaway should expect a “messy” weekend of weather, forecasters have warned, as rain and thunderstorms hit parts of the UK.

More than 13 million drivers are expected to hit the road for trips over the long weekend, with congestion set to be worst this evening, according to the AA.

Forecasters have warned most of the country should prepare for showers, with thunderstorms predicted in the South East on Saturday night.

A large band of rain is forecast across large parts of England on Sunday, before the weather improves on Monday.

Helen Rossington, forecaster at MeteoGroup, said: “We’re definitely not on for a heat wave.

“On Saturday there will be showers in the north, and the south is also at risk of rain. There is risk of thunderstorms overnight into Sunday across Kent and Essex.

“Sunday is a bit of a messy one. There’s a band of rain starting from Cornwall up to Lincolnshire. Anywhere through the Midlands would have a miserable day, with plenty of rain.

“The South East corner will have a fair amount of cloud around, while the north of England will see sunshine and showers.

“Temperatures will be average for this time of year, reaching around 23C in London and in the high teens in most places.

“Monday is looking a better day for most of England and Wales. It will be largely dry with sunny spells. There’ll be showers across Scotland and the north of England.”

Revellers attending Notting Hill carnival in London and Reading Festival have been warned to expect showers, while rain is also expected to hit Leeds Festival over the weekend.

A poll of more than 12,000 AA members found that 39 per cent are likely to be on the road either for a day trip or overnight stay, and the average trip will be around 90 miles.

This equates to the equivalent of more than 13 million drivers on leisure journeys this weekend, the AA said.

Max Holdstock, of the AA, said: “August is a full-on bank holiday weekend, so it’s always a bit of a mad scramble on the roads.

“The busiest times will be Friday evening and Monday afternoon, so try to allow extra time if you’re travelling then.”

Meanwhile, a survey by Which? suggested one in five Britons would be travelling, with nearly two-thirds by car, 17 per cent by plane and 15 per cent by train.

Almost half, 46 per cent, of those travelling said they expect delays, while three-quarters are either planning to leave earlier, travel at a “quieter” time, or break up their journey with an overnight stop.