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GREY DAY FOR MIDLANDS HOLIDAY.

Byline: BY EMILY ANDREWS

HOPES of an early taste of summer were dashed yesterday as clouds kept the predicted Bank Holiday sunshine at bay. Forecasters had expected that the Midlands would be basking in blazing sun this weekend - but much of the region is expected to remain overcast today.

Tesco had geared up for a rush on barbecue gear by shipping in extra lorry loads of food and charcoal.

But the predicted heatwave turned out to be a damp squib with temperatures only managing to reach 20[bar]C (68[bar]F) in the south, much lower than the expected 25[bar]C (77[bar]F).

Rain also forced people living in the Midlands, north of England and Wales to put plans on hold.

Daytrippers who did head to the seasideyesterday were disappointed as mist lingered over southern coastal areas.

Further north, temperatures hovered around the 13[bar]C (55[bar]F) mark, barely creeping into double figures in northern Scotland.

But forecasters say a cloudy start todayshould lead to some sunny spells later on.

The best of the sunshine should be in the south where temperatures could reach 23[bar]C (73[bar]F). The picture will be less sunny in the Midlands and the north, where temperatures will peak at 16[bar]C (61[bar]F).

And it's also bad news for Bank Holiday Monday. Tomorrrow will see the heaviest showers which will spread inland during the day. Temperatures will also dip, although they could still reach 22[bar]C in the south.

At the start of the weekend, Tesco had expected to sell five million packets of sausages, 500,000 burgers, 100,000 disposable BBQs and 150,000 sacks of charcoal.

But sales are likely to be down on predictions

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GETAWAY: the busy M5 on Friday
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:May 1, 2005
Words:301
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