Soaking up rays as Leeds bakes in the hot weather

Scorching weather conditions saw the city swelter during a baking May bank holiday.

The temperature peaked at around 26C in Leeds yesterday - far higher than the seasonal average during a record-breaking spell of hot weather.

Green spaces around the city were crowded as people took advantage of the heat, with buses delayed by extra traffic heading to Roundhay Park.

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Coastliner, which runs bus services between Leeds, Malton, York and Scarborough, also said heavy traffic was causing delays as tourists headed to the seaside.

The YEP’s photographers snapped sunbathers soaking up the rays along the canal at Leeds Dock as well as on the river in Otley and tracked down city folk who had flocked to the beach in Scarborough.

The Met Office yesterday said it was the hottest early May bank holiday weekend on record after the temperature reached almost 29C at RAF Northolt in London yesterday afternoon. It was hotter than the previous record in 1995, when temperatures peaked on the Saturday at 28.6C.

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It meant parts of the UK were enjoying temperatures hotter than holiday destinations including Madrid, Athens and Miami. The south east and central southern England had the most heat, with the majority of the UK seeing temperatures between 23C and 27C.

The early May bank holiday was introduced in 1978 and the temperature over the long weekend had never topped the 28C mark. The maximum average temperatures for May are 13C in the north and 16C in the south of the country.

The weekend’s hot conditions were created by a mix of low pressure, light winds and consistent sunshine. The Met Office said the temperature could rise as high as 25C in Leeds today but thundery showers are also expected around Yorkshire and Humber.

The weather is expected to turn cooler from Wednesday onwards - and becoming more mixed as the May 19 wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle draws near.

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Met Office forecaster Charlie Powell said: “It looks like we should be prepared for some pretty changeable weather throughout the second half of May. We’re still going to see some dry days, but there’s still going to be some wet days mixed in as well.”

Referring to the Royal Wedding, Mr Powell added: “We’ve got this idea that there could be some warmer spells, most likely across the south and east of England, so at least that bodes well for wedding locations and things like that.

“But I think we can expect things to be not as warm as they are now, but also not as dry as they are now.”