Warm air from the south will bring above average temperatures to most places in the UK over the next week, but a series of low-pressure systems will break up any potential sustained warm periods with showers and unsettled weather.

In recent days the Met Office computer models have been indicating some uncertainty around the outcome of the interaction between continental high pressure – bringing warm and settled conditions – and low-pressure systems over the Atlantic which will bring wet and breezy weather.  

As we get closer to next week, it looks likely that the low pressure will increasingly dominate, pushing the high eastwards. This means that the plume of warm air will be interrupted by a series of weather fronts, bringing showers that may at times be heavy or thundery. 

The Met Office forecast for this period has always indicated it was unlikely we would see conditions anywhere that matched our technical definition of a heatwave, which would require temperatures above the heatwave threshold for an area for three days in a row. However, almost everywhere will see above average temperatures for May next week, with parts of the south east potentially reaching a maximum in the mid-to-high 20s Celsius on Tuesday. 

With the warmth will come dry and sunny spells for many, but showers, sometimes heavy, will also track across the whole country, particularly the north and west. These might be thundery at times in parts of the south, central England and south-west Scotland.  

Met Office Chief Meteorologist Andy Page said: “The plume of warm air we have been expecting from the south will bring higher temperatures across the whole country over the next week. However, it looks like the effects from the Atlantic lows will prevent sustained high pressure building from the east. This means that while we might see some warm – and in places very warm – days, overall the next week will feel more like what we would expect of a warm spell in May, with some heavy showers around, rather than hot summery weather.” 

Further ahead, it’s looking likely that toward the end of next week will see more settled conditions return again, as high pressure begins to build back from the south.