UK weather – Stark images show what a difference a year makes as rain replaces mini-heatwave

WHAT a difference a year makes!

New images show the huge difference between the glorious heatwave of May 2020 – and the bleak storms we've endured 12 months on.

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This time last year, millions of Brits on furlough or working from home basked in temperatures in the mid-20s.

We enjoyed blissfully warm temperatures as high pressure swept in from Europe, bringing with it blue skies and plenty of sunshine.

And to make the most of it, plenty of us headed out to beaches and parks as the Government relaxed the first national lockdown.

Around this time last year, people were allowed to sunbathe and exercise as much as they wanted, as well as meet up with pals and family outside for the first time since the shutdown began in late March.

Fast-forward a year and we're on track for the most miserable May ever – although, thankfully, at least pubs are open.

Early provisional statistics show that Wales has already had its wettest May on record, with figures going back to 1862 – and there's still another week of the month to go.

And we've seen gales, plenty of rain, thunderstorms and even hail in the past couple of weeks.

But there's good news for Brits desperate for the sun to come out, with forecasters predicting highs of up to 23C for the bank holiday weekend.

Met Office spokesperson Oli Claydon told Sun Online: "Things are finally improving.

"The set-up for the whole of May is that there's a jet stream over or just to the south of us.

"You usually see it moving further north at this time of year, which allows warmer temperatures from the south to arrive.

"But this year, it hasn't, and that's what's led to the cold, wet May.

"This week, we're starting to get a bit of high pressure from the west, most predominantly from Wednesday.

"There'll be showers tomorrow, but high pressure is moving in.

"It'll help temperatures recover and get closer to where we should be at this time year."

Saturday and Sunday will both be "settled, dry and bright", he said.

"In terms of temperatures, there'll be highs of up to 23C for central parts of England and possibly into London," he said.

"Monday is more uncertain, although at the moment our forecast is showing the weather will hold on, giving dry and sunny conditions."

And he said the biggest difference between last May and this one isn't temperatures, but sunshine.

"May 2020 was the sunniest month on record," he said.

"It wasn't necessarily particularly hot.

"It was above average in terms of temperatures, but it wasn't a record-breaking month for warmth."

Bookies Coral has May odds-on, at 1-4, to be the wettest ever. And they've slashed the odds on June following suit.

"The rain is showing no signs of letting up and as we head towards summer, we have now cut the odds on next month being our wettest June since records began," said Coral's Harry Aitkenhead.

"A Great British washout is destined to re-write the record books for rainfall and this month is already odds on to be our wettest May."

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