Britain to be hotter than Egypt this Easter weekend – as travel chaos expected

Break out the barbecues and dig out your flip-flops – Britain is set to sizzle in an Easter heatwave with glorious sunshine and temperatures up to 25C.

The UK will be hotter than traditional holiday sun destinations including Majorca, Corfu, Bodrum, parts of Egypt and Morocco as temperatures rise almost 12 degrees warmer than usual for April.

The warm and dry weather will make for a pleasant Easter holiday, but Britons who aren't staying put at home face travel chaos as 10million people make journeys by car, train, plane or ferry.

Major rail engineering works are planned, Extinction Rebellion protests could cause problems, strikes in Spain could ruin holidays, and motorists at home face the highest Easter petrol prices in five years.

The pleasant weather conditions have triggered fears of a "deadly pollen bomb" that threatens asthma and hay fever sufferers.

The Met Office said temperatures could climb to 25C between Thursday and Monday, bringing relief after a chilly start to the month.

It will be largely dry and sunny across the country with temperatures breaking 20C in the north.

But those who are planning mini-breaks or trips to visit family should prepare for frustrating traffic jams and crowded airports.

About 10 million people are preparing to head off on an Easter holiday, new figures suggest.

Here is a breakdown of what to expect from the weather and travel disruption over the four-day Easter holiday weekend.

Good Friday

The Easter heatwave will be in full swing on Good Friday, the busiest travel day, with temperatures expected to peak around 23-24C in areas with prolonged sunshine.

Temperatures of 20C and above are expected widely thanks to warm air from mainland Europe.

The Met Office is predicting plenty of sunshine across the UK, although it could turn hazy at times and it will be cooler around the coast.


The conditions on Saturday will be the same – dry and sunny – and it will be a touch warmer around 24-25C.

It doesn't look like it will threaten the record for the highest temperature recorded over an Easter weekend (27.8C).

In the north, it is expected to be 21C.

Easter Sunday

The heatwave will continue on Easter Sunday with temperatures around 24C in the south and 20C in the north.

The Met Office warned: "It is likely to turn cooler in the far northwest from Sunday with outbreaks of rain."

Easter Monday

It will be a similar story on Easter Monday, with 24C heat in the south and 20C in the north.

During the day it may turn cooler and more unsettled across northern and western areas, with stronger winds and outbreaks of heavy rain.

Met Office chief meteorologist Steve Willington said: "With temperatures usually around 10-13C at this time of year, it's certainly going to be significantly warmer than average this Easter weekend and quite a contrast to the colder weather we have seen so far this month."

Traffic jams and crowded airports

About 10 million people are preparing to head off on an Easter holiday, new figures suggest.

Good Friday will be the busiest travel day as many people make the most of the long weekend.

Research by the RAC and Inrix suggests 4.4 million car journeys for leisure trips will be made on Good Friday.

This is expected to cause many major routes to be clogged, with the worst delays between 11am and 4.30pm.

Motorists are being urged to set off early or delay travel until Saturday to avoid the worst jams.

The Extinction Rebellion protests also threaten to disrupt travel.

A survey of 1,258 people by tourist board VisitEngland indicates that 7.4 million have planned an overnight trip in the UK this weekend.

This is up from 4.8 million last year and is the most since the annual survey was launched in 2013.

Among the attractions holding special events this weekend are Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire; Goodrich Castle, Herefordshire; Dreamland Margate, Kent and Chatsworth House, Derbyshire.

Motorways to avoid

These are the motorways to avoid, if possible.

The areas most likely to see jams include:

– M62 westbound from Leeds to Manchester between Junctions 27 and 18 (56-minute delay)

– M6 northbound from Preston to Lancaster between Junctions 31 and 34 (39-minute delay)

– M25 anticlockwise from Orpington through the Dartford Tunnel between Junctions 4 and 30 (30-minute delay)

Highways England said it will remove more than 450 miles of roadworks in time for the weekend, meaning 99 per cent of motorways and major A-roads in England will be clear of cones.

Motorists face paying the highest petrol prices for the Easter getaway in five years.

The average price of a tank of petrol has soared by more than £2.40 according to the AA.

Strikes could ruin trips to Spain

Travel trade association Abta expects 2.1 million British holidaymakers to head overseas this weekend, with strong demand reported for destinations including Spain, Turkey and Egypt.

Airports, ferry terminals and the Channel Tunnel will be extremely busy.

Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer said: "Easter is always one of the most popular times of year for travel and over the long weekend millions of holidaymakers will be taking either an overseas or a domestic break.

"As always on a busy bank holiday, leave plenty of time to get to your departure port and check for engineering work and line closures if using public transport."

In Spain, Air Nostrum pilots are threatening to go on strike on Easter Monday, and airport ground staff could walk off the job at AENA airports, including Madrid's Barajas and Barcelona's El Prat on Easter Sunday.

Rail passengers face disruption

Rail passengers also face disruption as Network Rail carries out engineering work.

As many as 400 engineering projects are being carried out on the country's rail network.

London Euston, the fifth busiest station in the UK, will be closed between Good Friday and Easter Monday.

There will also be no trains to or from London Fenchurch Street, an amended service between Preston and Glasgow Central, and some lines closed through Wimbledon.

South Western Railway services are also amended.

Network Rail said fewer passenger use trains during bank holidays compared with working days but admitted there is "never an ideal time to shut the railway for our must-do work".

"Deadly pollen bomb"

Asthma and hay fever sufferers have been warned to stay indoors as a "deadly pollen bomb" hits the UK this week while temperatures soar.

Pollen levels are dangerously high in parts of the UK, putting more than three million asthma sufferers at risk of a potentially life-threatening attack.

For about 18 million hay fever sufferers, the bank holidays could be ruined by symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, runny or blocked noses, or headaches .

Sonia Munde, Head of Services at Asthma UK, told Mirror Online: “A deadly pollen bomb is due to hit this week, putting people with asthma at risk of a potentially life-threatening asthma attack.

"Around 3.3million people with asthma are affected pollen, which can cause symptoms such as wheezing, a tight chest or coughing.

“Trees have been releasing their pollen for several weeks, but the warm spring weather is going to make these pollen levels spike.

"If you’re already getting symptoms, it’s not too late to help yourself stay well."

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