Glastonbury is upon us and the weather forecasts are in. There is good news and bad news.
Festivalgoers will be reaching for the suncream and then the wellies as a sunny start gives way to heavy showers just as the main acts take to the stages on Friday.
Helen Caughey, the Met Office’s deputy chief meteorologist, said the first of the 200,000 people arriving at the site would enjoy plenty of sunshine and highs of 26C (79F) or 27C on Wednesday and Thursday.
But the forecast from Friday onwards looks muddy. “You should plan for both sunhats and raincoats for this year’s festival,” Caughey said.
Heavy showers and thunderstorms are expected near Worthy Farm, in rural Somerset, on Friday and Saturday, potentially providing a dramatic, if rather soggy, backdrop to the headline sets of Billie Eilish and Paul McCartney.
The downpours are not expected to last long but some surface water may accumulate, Caughey said. Surface water, in Glasto land, could well mean knee-deep mudbaths.
Caughey added: “Sunday is expected to be mostly dry and bright at first but with showers once again developing through the morning, some of which could be heavy, and possibly thundery. The unsettled pattern is expected to continue to dominate into the start of next week.”
Anyone who has attended Glastonbury – or lived in Britain – knows to expect sunshine and showers on the same day at this time of year.
But Glastonbury sometimes seems to exist in its own curious microclimate, with freak events such as electrical storms causing chaos in recent years.
The mixed forecast will almost certainly not dampen enthusiasm for the return of Glastonbury after its two-year Covid-19 hiatus. Gates open at 8am on Wednesday, come rain or shine.