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Easter weekend: What to expect across the UK as 12 million motorists hit the road

By Jillian MacMath, AccuWeather staff writer
By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
April 18, 2019, 7:08:12 AM EDT

With a mostly dry Easter period in store, around 12 million motorists will hit the road during the bank holiday weekend, the RAC estimates.

According to data from traffic information provider INRIX, jams will peak on Good Friday, with major routes clogging up between 11 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. local time.

While this will inevitably spell delays for motorists, AccuWeather forecasters are predicting this window will be one of the best opportunities for travel weather-wise, as a generally dry day is in store for most of the United Kingdom.

Easter weekend April 18

"Overall, Friday will have lots of sunny spells," AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys said.

According to Inrix, motorists should expect the worst delays on Friday on the M5 southbound, passing west of Bristol toward Devon and Cornwall, the M25 anticlockwise from Bromley to the A13 , the M6 north between Preston and Lancaster and the M62 west between Leeds and Manchester.

Showery spells will return to northwestern Northern Ireland and northern and central Scotland on Saturday, leading to slight slowdowns on motorways.

Otherwise, Friday and Saturday will boast pleasant weather for church services, Easter egg hunts and other activities outside.

Temperatures will climb to around 22 C (72 F) in London, 20 C (68 F) in Manchester and 18-20 C (64-68 F) for Glasgow, Edinburgh and Belfast.

"Any morning fog will be very localised through the Easter holiday weekend," Roys said.

Bright sunshine is in store for London and all of southeastern England on Saturday.

Easter Sunday and Monday

Dry weather is forecast for Easter morning sunrise services across much of the U.K., but the air will be a bit chilly in some locations.

Early morning temperatures will hang between 6 C and 10 C (42-50 F) throughout most of the U.K.

"A bypassing depression will cause showers to graze northwestern Northern Ireland and northern Scotland on Sunday, mainly in the morning," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski.

Dry conditions will persist from southern Scotland on southward.

"Easter Sunday will feature another day with plenty of sun across southern England and southern Wales," Pydynowski said. "There will be more cloud but still sunny spells across southern parts of Northern Ireland and Scotland to northern England."

By the afternoon, the mercury will climb across the U.K., reaching into the mid to upper teens C (upper 50s to 60s F) for Scotland into northern England and around 20 C (68 F) across the Midlands and southern England. Temperatures will even approach 22 C (72 F) in and around London.

As the Monday bank holiday arrives, high pressure and dry weather is expected to win out over the return of unsettled weather.

Highs on Monday will be nearly identical to Sunday across Wales, England and Northern Ireland. Even milder weather awaits Scotland with temperatures set to climb between 17-20 C (63-68 F).

Motorists on popular routes will not have to contend with wet roads or reduced visibility as sunshine dominates.

According to RAC, travellers heading home on Monday are likely to face the greatest travelling delays between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Download the free AccuWeather app for more details on the weather for the long holiday weekend in your community.

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