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Bank holiday weekend to be washout
The bank holiday weekend is set to be a washout, with wind and rain threatening to ruin music festivals, sporting events and trips to the coast.
After a blisteringly hot spell last weekend, forecasters are predicting that areas of low pressure will sweep in from the west, bringing wet weather and much lower temperatures.
To add to travellers' misery, the AA reported that those who take to the road will have to contend with rapidly-rising petrol prices.
Weather-wise, the late August bank holiday is mirroring the Jubilee bank holiday weekend in June, when rain hit many street parties as well as the spectacular Thames river pageant.
Just as now, the Jubilee weekend had followed very warm weather the week before. Last weekend, temperatures as high as 32C (90F) were recorded, but the thermometer is not expected to struggle beyond 20C (68F) over the bank holiday weekend.
"Last week's hot weather is being shoved aside rather rudely by a succession of areas of low pressure coming in from the west," said Paul Knightley, a senior forecaster with the Press Association's weather company, MeteoGroup.
He said rain would hit Wales and south-west England on Friday, while southern England could expect showers and longer periods of rain on Saturday.
Mr Knightley went on: "Sunday looks the best day of the holiday, although temperatures in Scotland are not expected to exceed 15C (59F). But bank holiday Monday could see wind and rain spreading in from the south-west. It's certainly not looking good for the weekend and you could say it's going to be typical bank holiday weather."
Events over the weekend include the Notting Hill Carnival in west London, the Reading and Leeds music festivals, horse racing at Cheltenham and the Rugby League Challenge Cup final at Wembley.
The AA said motorists are having to contend with a 6p-a-litre hike in petrol prices since the start of the summer. Having peaked at an average of 142.48p a litre in mid-April, petrol fell to 130.81p by July 1 but has now gone up to just under 137p a litre. Diesel was as high as 147.93p a litre in mid-April then fell to 136.12p on July 1 and has now risen to 141.66p.