Britons are gearing up for a bumper weekend with a blast of warm air coupled with clear skies bringing bring temperatures more akin to Mediterranean resorts as England’s first game in Euro 2020 gets underway.
A mini-heatwave could make Sunday the UK’s hottest day of the year so far as the football tournament begins, in a balmy consolation following the closing of the remaining holiday route to Portugal for fed-up British tourists.
Temperatures could reach 86F (30C) in the South East, making parts of England warmer than the Algarve or Corfu, as thousands of football fans flock to pub gardens to enjoy the start of the delayed competition from tonight.
The glorious conditions will mark a weekend of fun for Britons eager to see the end of the third national lockdown on June 21, although there are mounting rumours that Prime Minister Boris Johnson will delay ‘Freedom Day’.
Euro 2020, which is being held across Europe, will kick off one year late tonight, with Turkey v Italy in Rome – before the first match in Britain is held on Sunday at 2pm as England face Croatia at Wembley Stadium in London.
And UK beaches and beauty spots are set to be swamped with day-trippers in the coming days, while world leaders and their protection teams gathering in Cornwall for the G7 summit are set for a sticky weekend.
The Queen will meet US President Joe Biden and his wife Jill as temperatures soar, after celebrating her official birthday in sweltering conditions with a scaled-down Trooping the Colour ceremony at Windsor Castle tomorrow.
Covid guidelines will be followed during the ‘mini’ event which will incorporate many elements of the annual Queen’s Birthday Parade, as Trooping the Colour is also known, which is normally staged in central London.
But all good things must come to an end, and the renewed sunny spell looks like it could be interrupted in just under a week’s time with the prospect of rain returning by next Thursday.
Work continues at Trafalgar Square in London this morning on the new fan zone ahead of Euro 2020 which begins today
Workers continue building a new fan zone at Traflagar Square in London today ahead of the Euro 2020 football tournament
A person stands onboard a boat sailing through foggy weather at Falmouth in Cornwall this morning
A cloudy but warm start to the day in London today with the City’s skyline seen from Waterloo Bridge this morning
A cyclist makes their way along the South Bank in London this morning as the capital enjoys another warm day today
England will play Croatia in their first match of Euro 2020 on Sunday at Wembley Stadium in London, pictured yesterday
Met Office forecaster Greg Dewhurst said: ‘The weekend will certainly be on the warm side as a result of high pressure building up, with temperatures increasing through Sunday and into Monday.’
So far this year the UK’s warmest day was June 2, set in Northolt, West London at 82.9F (28.3C). Mr Dewhurst added: ‘There’s certainly a chance that figure could be beaten.
Temperatures above 70F (21C) for 16th day in a row
Maximum temperatures in Britain got above 70F (21C) for the 16th day in a row today. Here are the UK highs for the previous 12 days, including the hottest day of the year so far which was recorded last week:
- June 10: 76.5F (24.7C) – Heathrow Airport, London
- June 9: 79.5F (26.4C) – Hull, East Yorkshire
- June 8: 76.6F (24.8C) – St James’s Park, London
- June 7: 76.3F (24.6C) – Coningsby, Lincolnshire
- June 6: 74.1F (23.4C) – St James’s Park, London
- June 5: 75.2F (24C) – St James’s Park, London
- June 4: 70.2F (21.2C) – Fyvie Castle, Aberdeenshire
- June 3: 76.5F (24.7C) – Santon Downham, Suffolk
- June 2: 82.9F (28.3C) – Northolt, London – 2021 HIGH
- June 1 : 79F (26.1C) – Cardiff
- May 31 : 77.2F (25.1C) – Kinlochewe, Highlands
- May 30 : 75.2F (24C) – Achnagart, Highlands
- May 29 : 73.2F (22.9C) – Chivenor, Devon
- May 28 : 71.8F (22.1C) – Achnagart, Highlands
- May 27 : 71.6F (22C) – Wisley, Surrey
The last day the maximum was below 70F (21C) was May 26 when Killowen in County Down got to 65.5F (18.6C).
‘But as we go into next week temperatures will be moving back down again with freshening wind and a risk of rain coming in from the north and west.’
The Queen is understood to be keen to carry out more public engagements in the coming months instead of the virtual events which have taken up much of her schedule since the pandemic hit – beginning with two major engagements this weekend.
She has a busy run of events in the next couple of days – meeting US president Joe Biden, who is in the UK for the G7 summit, and attending a mini Trooping the Colour at Windsor to mark her official birthday.
The Queen’s cousin, the Duke of Kent, will accompany her at the birthday military parade tomorrow.
Although the Queen’s 95th birthday was on April 21, Trooping the Colour always takes place in the second weekend in June. It is traditionally delayed because the weather is normally better in early summer.
The busy weekend will also see the Queen meet with President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden following the G7 summit in St Ives, Cornwall, on Sunday.
Speaking yesterday, Mrs Biden said she and Joe were both looking forward to their meeting with the monarch, adding: ‘That’s an exciting part of the visit for us. We’ve looked forward to this for weeks and now it’s finally here. It’s a beautiful beginning.’
Ahead of the weekend, maximum temperatures in Britain got above 70F (21C) for the 16th day in a row today.
And while tomorrow will remain balmy, temperatures are set to dip nearer the mid-70Fs (mid-20Cs) which means the Met Office does not currently expect to declare an official heatwave.
That would require three consecutive days over a given threshold, currently 81F (27C) in southern England and 77F (25C) in the North.
Nevertheless the warm spell sparked a wave of excitement among bookmakers, with Ladbrokes slashing odds to 1/3 on this month going down as the hottest June ever.
The official fan zone at Piazza del Popolo in Rome is pictured in the sunshine today, hours before Euro 2020 kicks off
People walk across the official fan zone at Piazza del Popolo in Rome today ahead of the start of Euro 2020 in Italy tonight
Coral were also offering odds of 1/6 (from 4/5) on 86F (30C) or higher being recorded in the UK before the end of the weekend.
Yesterday morning, some skygazers across the UK were treated to a rare celestial show as observers witnessed a crescent sun during a partial solar eclipse.
Despite cloudy skies, astronomy enthusiasts were able to see nearly a third of the sun being blocked out by the moon.
Parts of the US, Canada, Europe and Asia witnessed an annular eclipse – where the sun appeared in the sky as a very bright ring, or annulus, in a phenomenon dubbed the ‘ring of fire’.
Observers in the UK and Ireland saw a crescent sun instead of a ring, as this was a partial eclipse. The phenomenon began at 10.08am UK time, reaching maximum coverage at 11.13am, before ending at 12.22pm.
The next solar eclipse will take place in October 2022, and will be visible across Europe, north-east Africa, the Middle East, and West Asia.