Improving picture as many start school holidays

Fair weather clouds

18 July 2012 - After weeks of heavy rain across parts of the UK, conditions are set to improve for many areas this weekend.

After weeks of heavy rain across parts of the UK, conditions are set to improve for many areas this weekend.

More heavy showers will affect some parts during the rest of the week, but by Saturday most areas will see drier weather with any showers few and far between. Temperatures will reach the low 20s Celsius.

Sunday will see the improved weather continue for a large part of England and Wales, with mostly dry weather and bright or sunny spells expected. However, the north and west of the UK can expect some rain - which will be heavy in places - with strong winds.

Drier weather for many, with rain where it's needed

Martin Young, Chief Forecaster at the Met Office, said: "As we move towards the weekend we will see a return to a more normal summer weather pattern for the UK. This will bring dry and bright conditions to southern parts over the weekend, and some much needed rainfall to the far north west of Scotland - where it has been exceptionally dry."

This summer we have also launched our specialised leisure forecasts. The leisure forecast page provides forecasts for a range of different leisure venues including beaches, places of interest and national parks.

Jet stream returning to 'normal' position

There has been a lot of talk about the  position of the jet stream in relation to the recent wet weather, with this narrow band of fast flowing winds having been much further south than we would expect at this time of year.

Over the next few days, the jet stream is expected to move to its more usual position to the north of the UK, guiding rain-bearing low pressure systems from the Atlantic away from the country. This is why we expect to see a move to more normal summer conditions, with the south and east seeing the best of any drier and brighter conditions.

Sun still strong at this time of year

Most of us will want to get out and enjoy the sunny weather when it comes. However, we are now in July and the sun is still very strong so it is important to keep up to date with our UV forecast which is sponsored by The Karen Clifford Skin Cancer Charity, Skcin.

Looking to the Olympics

There is understandably a huge amount of interest in what the weather will be doing at the end of next week in time for the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games. However, it's still a little early to give a detailed forecast for the Olympic Stadium for the big opening event.

Sandie Dawe, Chief Executive at VisitBritain said: "The weather is a peculiarly British obsession, our international visitors come all year round for our temperate climate and enjoy a dash of unpredictability. Sunshine will help to get us all in the party mood, as we show the warmth of our welcome and the British know how to host not just a great Games but a great party too. Come rain or shine - Britain is the place to be in 2012."

The Met Office Olympic and Paralympic venue weather statistics give a detailed analysis of historic weather at each of the Olympic and Paralympic sporting venues - including those across London, the sailing venue at Weymouth and Portland and the rowing venue at Eton Dorney.

As ever, we'll be working round the clock to make sure everyone - from the UK public, to athletes, coaches, and the organisers of the Games - has the very latest picture of what the weather has in store. For the latest information, keep up to date with our online forecasts and warnings.

Contact information

Met Office Press Office: +44 (0)1392 886655

E-mail: Press Office

Met Office Customer Centre: 01392 885680

If you're outside the UK: +44 1392 885680

Last updated: 19 July 2012