Mini heatwave gives glimpse of hope for barbecue summer

WHAT a difference a week makes.

Gone are the chilly temperatures that made the start of the month feel as if we were in the grips of winter.

And in their place, weather forecasters are predicting a mini-heatwave will bathe East Anglia in sunshine this weekend.

The mercury is set to rise to about 24C, with bright sunny days for the next week or so.

An unseasonal cold snap at the start of the month saw temperatures drop well below the average 14C expected at this time of the year.

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But yesterday people across Suffolk and Essex enjoyed the start of the warmer spell as the mercury crept up throughout the day, reaching highs of 21C in some parts of the region.

Last night, forecaster at Norwich-based Weatherquest Joe Osborne said: “Temperatures really started to rise yesterday and that is how it continued today.

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“It was dry across the whole region and temperatures in some parts reached 21C, that is around 5C above average for this time of the year.

“And they are going to keep on rising.”

A hint of a barbecue summer is on the cards for the weekend with weather expert Mr Osborne predicting highs of 24C in some places.

He said: “We should see a really warm finish to May.

“Our long-range chart suggests it is going to stay warm, we could get a couple of isolated showers but they shouldn’t stick around.

“Temperatures at the weekend should hit around 23C or even 24C in some places, but it is dependent on the cloud cover, which is harder to predict.”

Nationally, the Met Office has announced it is no longer providing long-range weather predictions after the disaster last year, when forecasters hailed a barbecue summer only for it to be miserable.

Mr Osborne added that despite the high hopes for the rest of the summer it was very difficult to predict how the weather will turn out.

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