Express & Star

Region braces for 24C heat as one of warmest weekends of year on the way

Get ready for one of the warmest weekends of the year – in October.

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Temperatures are set to soar

Our strange weather continues this week with temperatures set to reach towards the mid 20s over the weekend.

That's great news for outdoor attractions across the West Midlands, which are set to enjoy an unexpected boost in numbers thanks to the sunshine.

Dudley Zoo is amongst those getting ready for the last drop of summer sun, with keepers preparing special treats to cool down the animals on site.

Zoo manager, Matt Lewis, said: "With the warm weather set to return again this weekend, there’s plenty to see and do at Dudley Zoo and keepers are already preparing by making tasty ice-lollies for the animals.

"There’s our very own beach ‘Ow Bin Ya Sands’ for our younger visitors to play in, an 11th century castle to explore, not to mention more than 200 different species of amazing animals to discover around the 40-acre site.

"Plus, it’s the perfect opportunity to take advantage of our child goes free offer, with up to two children being offered complimentary entry per full-priced adult on tickets booked online in advance."

The warm weather has also come as good news to The Severn Valley Railway, with traditional ice cream being sold on site to offer visitor's some relief from the heat.

A spokeswoman for the railway attraction said: "An unexpected extension to summer will be perfect for us at the Severn Valley Railway.

"This coming weekend, we’ve got plenty of extra attractions to tempt people to visit us for the day, with an O Gauge Model Railway Get Together at The Engine House, Highley.

"There’ll be seven layouts to delight visitors, depicting railway scenes from the early days to the modern era. And if you need to cool down, nothing beats a traditional ice cream."

And West Midlands Safari Park is also "excited" at the prospect of sunshine.

Vikki Green, head of marketing at the Bewdley attraction, said: "It's exciting to see that we are expecting a warm and dry spell this weekend which we hope will encourage more people to come and spend their day with us.

"It’s a special weekend at the park as we have teamed up with Paramount Pictures UK, for the release of the new 'Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie'.

"Guests visiting this weekend will have the chance to meet some of their favourite pup characters like you’ve never seen them before, exclusively at the Safari Park.

"This is all included in our standard admission ticket, so we're hoping that the meet and greets, along with the weather forecast, ensures we have lots of happy faces, squeezing the last out of the summer."

But the weather may not be quite as warmly welcomed by runners from across the region descending on Shrewsbury for its half marathon, traditionally held in October to take advantage of cooler weather.

You could be forgiven for thinking it was time to pack away the shorts, t-shirts and sunglasses for another year. After all, we are officially into October and have been experiencing a lot of rain over the last week or so. But you may want to hold off for another week.

Forecasts show very promising signs indeed for the weekend ahead, with an indication that we may be able to squeeze a bit more sunshine out of 2023 with only two months to go. The forecasts show that Cardiff is set to get some temperatures of up to 21°C on Saturday, October 7, with much the same again on Sunday and Monday..

Super-heated air is expected to drift upwards from southern England later this week, with temperatures expected to rise as early as Thursday, October 5.

The warm weather, while unseasonable, is expected to be the start of an Indian summer, and is set to continue to rise throughout the weekend.

Forecasts between Friday, October 6 to October 15, read: "A split in conditions is likely to develop across the UK early in the period.

"Further rain is expected in north-western areas, which could turn heavy, particularly over higher, westwards-facing ground and strong winds are also possible in these areas."

"Southern areas, in contrast, are likely to remain much drier with light winds and some clear spells, which could lead to some overnight patches of mist and fog.

"Temperatures are likely to be above average for many, especially so in the south where some unusually warm temperatures for October are possible.

"These temperatures are likely to trend downward toward the middle of the month, with the northwest-southeast split also slowly becoming less distinct as the weather becomes generally more changeable."

The temperature will dramatically drop between October 15 and October 29, with the Met Office saying there could be a warm gust in the run-up to Halloween.

It said: "Changeable conditions at the start of this period may give way to a more slowly evolving weather pattern later in October. This would result in some drier, settled spells, especially towards the northwest. Some wet weather is still possible at times, most likely in the south where some spots may be wetter than usual.

"Temperatures are more likely to be above average than below average overall, which means that by day conditions will often feel quite pleasant in sunshine.

"Chilly nights are to be expected during more settled periods, bringing a risk of frost and also a chance of mist and fog patches which could be quite slow to clear from some spots."