Britain could see its hottest Easter ever with temperatures that could soar to 26C, making the UK warmer than Morocco and holiday resorts such as Majorca.
A spring heatwave is hitting over the Easter weekend, bringing the warmest temperatures of the year so far and plenty of sun across the UK.
It could be record-breaking heat – the warmest temperature for Easter Sunday in the UK is 25.3C in Solent, Hampshire in April 2011.
But the bank holiday weekend means more than 10million people will be making journeys by road, rail, air and ferry, and that means severe delays on motorways and queues at airports.
The dry and hot weather is also posing a danger to asthma and hay fever sufferers after stirring up a "deadly pollen bomb" that has sent counts dangerously high across Britain.
Good Friday will be a fine day with long spells of sunshine – more than ten hours in places – and it will be occasionally hazy.
Around coasts it will feel cooler, especially on the North Sea, the Met Office said.
Patchy fog will develop overnight across southern and northeastern areas, and it will be chilly in places.
Saturday will be another largely sunny and very warm day for most.
Some light rain and drizzle is possible in the north and northwest.
Sunday will be another spring scorcher, and the fine weather is expected to continue in many places into early next week.
Easter temperature records could be challenged this weekend, the Met Office said.
The record temperature for Easter Sunday in England is 25.3C reached in Solent, Hampshire in April 2011, for Scotland is 20.7C reached in Aboyne, Aberdeenshire in April 2015, for Wales is 21.6C at Brynamman, Dyfed in April 1984, and in Northern Ireland is 19.4C in Armagh, April 1924.
The highest temperature recorded over an Easter weekend is 27.8C.
Met Office chief meteorologist Frank Saunders said: "Temperatures will continue to rise day by day and with the sun getting stronger at this time of year, it's going to feel warm or very warm across much of the country this Easter weekend.
"With temperatures usually around 12C to 15C at this time of year, it's certainly going to be significantly warmer than average this Easter weekend and quite a contrast to the colder weather we've seen so far this month."
As temperatures rise so too could the frustration of Britons who are making an Easter getaway.
Motorists have been warned to expect severe delays on popular tourist routes on Good Friday, the busiest travel day of the bank holiday weekend.
An estimated 4.4 million people will take to the UK's roads for leisure trips on Good Friday.
The worst jams are expected between 11am and 4.30pm with some journeys taking three times longer than normal, according to research by the RAC and traffic information supplier Inrix.
The stretches of road likely to see the worst delays include:
– M62 westbound from Leeds to Manchester between Junctions 27 and 18 (56-minute delay)
– M6 northbound from Preston to Lancaster between Junctions 31 and 34 (39-minute delay)
– M25 anticlockwise from Orpington between Junctions 4 and 30 (30-minute delay)
Thursday saw a number of routes clogged up by people making an early start ahead of the bank holiday weekend.
Routes from west London to Exeter had significant delays on journeys via the M4 and M5, the AA said.
A broken down lorry on the M3 slip road to Basingstoke, Hampshire slowed traffic trying to get off the motorway.
AA president Edmund King said Saturday will see a "congestion cocktail" of day trippers, shoppers, sun-seekers and football fans taking to the roads.
"Expect delays and allow plenty of extra time for your journey", he added.
A survey of 1,258 people by tourist board VisitEngland indicated that 7.4 million have planned an overnight trip in the UK this weekend.
This is up from 4.8 million last year and is the most since the annual survey was launched in 2013.
Among the attractions holding special events this weekend are Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire; Goodrich Castle, Herefordshire; Dreamland Margate, Kent and Chatsworth House, Derbyshire.
Travel trade association Abta expects 2.1 million British holidaymakers to head overseas this weekend, with strong demand reported for destinations including Spain, Turkey and Egypt.
Airports, ferry terminals and the Channel Tunnel will be extremely busy.
Highways England said it will remove more than 450 miles of roadworks in time for the weekend, meaning 99% of motorways and major A-roads in England will be clear of cones.
Motorists face paying the highest petrol prices for the Easter getaway in five years.
The average price of a tank of petrol has soared by more than £2.40 according to the AA.
Rail passengers also face disruption as Network Rail carries out engineering work.
London Euston, the fifth busiest station in the UK, will be closed between Good Friday and Easter Monday.
There will also be no trains at London Fenchurch Street, an amended service between Preston and Glasgow Central, and some lines closed through Wimbledon.
Network Rail said fewer passenger use trains during bank holidays compared with working days but admitted there is "never an ideal time to shut the railway for our must-do work".
Asthma and hay fever sufferers have been warned to stay indoors as a "deadly pollen bomb" hits the UK this week while temperatures soar.
Pollen levels are dangerously high in parts of the UK, putting more than three million asthma sufferers at risk of a potentially life-threatening attack.
For about 18 million hay fever sufferers, the bank holidays could be ruined by symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, runny or blocked noses, or headaches.
Sonia Munde, Head of Services at Asthma UK, told Mirror Online: “A deadly pollen bomb is due to hit this week, putting people with asthma at risk of a potentially life-threatening asthma attack.
"Around 3.3million people with asthma are affected pollen, which can cause symptoms such as wheezing, a tight chest or coughing.
“Trees have been releasing their pollen for several weeks, but the warm spring weather is going to make these pollen levels spike.
"If you’re already getting symptoms, it’s not too late to help yourself stay well."
Met Office five-day weather forecast
Any pockets of fog clearing swiftly to give a fine day with long spells of sunshine, occasionally hazy due to areas of high cloud.
Most will be very warm, but around coasts it will feel fresher, especially North Sea coasts.
Dry and largely clear, although patchy fog will develop across eastern and northeastern areas, whilst the far northwest will become cloudy.
Chilly in places, but mild in some western parts.
Fog quickly clearing to leave another largely sunny and very warm day for most.
Cloudier at times in the north and northwest with some light rain and drizzle possible.
Sunday to Tuesday
Mostly sunny and very warm at times.
Cloudier and breezier in the northwest with rain possible in the far northwest.
Showers developing in the southwest on Tuesday.
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