THE great British summer is getting off to a blustery start with severe wind warnings issued nationwide as hopes of a Yorkshire heatwave are thwarted.
The Met Office has warned that this week will begin with an unseasonably windy spell and even heavy rain despite bookies having slashed the odds on Britain enjoying the hottest June on record.
But sun worshippers should not get too excited about predictions that this weekend will see blazing sunshine, because even though the weather will become more settled, it is not set to suddenly turn tropical.
“Yellow warnings” of wind - which suggest people should be aware - have been issued for all regions of the UK except Orkney and Shetland, and are valid from 2pm today until 6pm tomorrow.
A Met Office spokesman said the low pressure coming across the UK will bring strong winds - gusts of 40-50mph “fairly widely” with 60-70mph gales expected in areas such as some English Channel coasts.
Asked about the idea of a heatwave coming, he added: “I wouldn’t say that there’s a heatwave on the way. No.”
But he did say the weather would become “more settled” towards the end of the week with temperatures expected to reach 22C (71.6F) on Thursday, and mid-20s on Friday and Saturday.
One or two places might see 26C (78.8F) if they are lucky.
“There’s also some heavy rain associated with that low pressure through later today and tomorrow. We could see 20-40mm of rain in northern and western areas,” he said, adding that trees which are in leaf at this time of year are more susceptible to the winds, meaning that the chance of disruption is increased.
“It’s a pretty unsettled start to the summer,” he said, but added that it will calm down “quite significantly” from midweek onwards.
Widespread blue skies are not likely though as the spokesman said there will be a fair bit of cloud around.
“It’s certainly not a case that we’re getting wall to wall blue skies across the UK on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or even Saturday.
“It is going to be pretty pleasant weather nevertheless, for at least the southern half of the UK. There are going to be bright spells, it is going to be dry, the winds are going to have backed off quite a lot and the temperature’s going to build,” he said.
So there is certainly going to be a contrast between the weather today and tomorrow and the weather at the end of the week, but it will “not be a switch to tropical weather by any means”, he added.
The Met Office said that, given the unseasonable nature of the winds, the public should be aware of the potential for disruption to transport and outdoor activities.
Meanwhile, one bookmaker said June “could be the hottest in British history’’.
Coral has cut the odds on Britain having the hottest June since records began in 1910 to 3-1 from 5-1 amid predictions that a heatwave will sweep the nation.
And it has given odds of 10-1 that the UK mainland temperature exceeds 100F (37.8C) while it is 12-1 that the UK record temperature high of 38.5C (101.3F) is broken.
And there is good news for tennis fans as Coral is giving odds of 6-1 that Wimbledon will be entirely rain-free this year.
Ladbrokes has also slashed odds of June being the hottest on record from 20-1 to 6-1, while it has cut the odds for it being the hottest summer on record from 2-1 to 6-4.