Britain is bracing for days of heavy rain and gales – bringing a further risk of flooding – before what could be the summer’s last blast of sunny and warm weather.
The forecast from the Met Office looks miserable from now until next week, with thunderstorms, strong winds and chilly nights all expected.
There will be some sunny spells but most places will see rain at some point as heavy showers and gales threaten travel disruption.
Britons hoping for summer-like weather will have to wait until next week when temperatures jump into the mid to high 20s, a month before the start of autumn.
Thursday will be a wet and breezy start in places as early showers in the west move eastwards with some heavy bursts, the Met Office said.
Many areas will see increasing sunshine but the northwest will continue to be hit by showers in a month where many days have been a washout.
Rain is expected in the west and northwest overnight as heavy rain moves eastwards.
Temperatures will stay cool in the high teens – lower than normal for August – in most places.
Friday will bring the worst of the wet and windy weather with forecasters warning of coastal gales in the south and west.
A mix of sunshine and showers is expected at the weekend, but coastal gales and thunderstorms will threaten northern areas.
Eleven flood alerts have been issued in England, meaning flooding is possible and residents should be prepared.
They include locations in the Lake District, and several in the Midlands.
The Met Office said showers will continue on Monday as winds die down and the weather gradually improves through the week.
Drier conditions are expected to develop between Tuesday and Thursday, although rain and strong winds are expected in the north along with some chilly nights.
Low pressure could then build to the west or southwest of the British Isles, bringing increasingly settled and warmer conditions, especially to southern areas, the Met Office said.
Temperatures could eclipse 25C in places from Friday 24 August.
Further wet and windy spells are still possible in the north.
Met Office five-day weather forecast
Early showers in the west will transfer eastwards, with some heavy bursts.
Many areas will then see increasing sunshine.
There will be further showery rain in parts of the northwest but the wind will ease from the west.
Central, southern and eastern areas will be dry, with clear spells.
Winds will increase in the west and northwest, with occasionally heavy rain moving eastwards.
It will be wet and windy for most, with coastal gales possible in the south and west.
Sunshine and isolated showers will move into Scotland and Northern Ireland later.
Saturday to Monday
This weekend will see sunshine and showers, with coastal gales and the risk of thunder especially in the north.
The showers will continue on Monday, but the wind will ease.