Fox News Weather Center

Storms, smog threaten to spoil weekend spell of summertime warmth in UK

Summerlike warmth will spread across the United Kingdom this weekend, but wet weather and smog threaten to put a damper on barbecues, sports and other outdoor activities.

Mild air began to surge into the United Kingdom for the end of the workweek, but an even more noticeable warmup is in store for the weekend.

Afternoon highs on Saturday are expected between 20 and 23 C (68 and 73 F) across much of southern and central England, where the normal temperature for early May is closer to 15 C (60 F).

Many of the areas seeing a surge in the warmth on Saturday will also be battling thunderstorms by midday, dampening any outdoor plans through the afternoon and evening.

Thunderstorms in the afternoon across the Midlands and into Wales will be strong, bringing the chance for torrential downpours, as well as hail and damaging wind gusts.

Those with outdoor plans should stay tuned to AccuWeather's MinuteCast®. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning and you should seek shelter indoors.

Rainy spells are expected across most of Northern Ireland on Saturday, with afternoon showers across Scotland.

On Sunday, afternoon showers, some thundery, will develop across Wales, as well as central and northern England. However, these showers and thundery spells are expected to be more isolated and are not likely to turn severe. This will allow many to get out and enjoy the warmth for the second half of the weekend.

"The warmest day of the weekend will be on Sunday," AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys said.

Highs on Sunday will reach 16-19 C (61-66 F) in coastal locations of England and Wales, the cool spot for those looking to escape the heat.

However, inland areas across England, Wales and even into southern Scotland will reach 20-25 C (68-77 F). London can expect a high around 25 C (77 F), a temperature that is more typical during a July or August heat wave.

Despite the heat, any sunshine that appears will be hazy.

The southeastern winds will bring a collective stream of pollution from mainland Europe on Sunday, increasing the potential for smog on Sunday. Areas expected to see the worst of the smog are inland parts of England and Wales, as well as across Northern Ireland and central Scotland.

"Those with outdoor activities on Sunday afternoon should use caution," Roys warned.

"The moderate pollution levels could be problematic for sensitive groups, including those with respiratory issues, children and the elderly."

On Monday and Tuesday, the smog and haze potential should lessen as wet weather moves into southern England.

Despite the showers on Monday and Tuesday, the summerlike feel is expected to continue. Although the air will be a slightly cooler than the extreme heat on Sunday, mild weather will remain into middle of the week with temperatures well above average.