More rain showers are forecast for the week ahead, setting the scene for what could be one of the wettest Mays on record.

By Friday there had been 91% of the expected rainfall for the entire month, with 63.5mm having fallen already.

The wettest May on record was in 1967, when 131.7mm of rain fell across the UK.

Met Office forecaster Steven Keates said even if the record is not broken, it will be a “notably wet month”.

He said: “If you were to extrapolate what we’ve had so far and say the second half of the month was similar to the first, then you would probably be challenging a record wet May.

“On the basis that a fair amount of rain is probably quite likely over the next couple of weeks, it’s probably going to be up there.”

Today, when pubs and restaurants can reopen indoors in England, will be a day of sunshine and showers, he said.

“It’s sunglasses one minute and umbrellas the next,” he added.

There are likely to be heavy showers with a risk of thunder “up and down the country”, he said.

He added: “So if you can go in, it might be the best option.”

There is hope for drier weather as spring comes to an end.

“There are hints, however, as we move towards the turn of the month into June of perhaps a bit of a dry trend,” said Mr Keates.

“So some tentative glimmers of light at the end of the tunnel.”

Echo: This time last year the soaring Bank Holiday temperatures resulted in thousands flocking to the beach Picture: www.airflydronesolutions.co.ukThis time last year the soaring Bank Holiday temperatures resulted in thousands flocking to the beach Picture: www.airflydronesolutions.co.uk

This time last year sun seekers were catching rays on Southend beaches as the temperatures hit 25C. 

Read more >> Thousands descend on Southend beach as temperatures top 25C

Here is the long range forecast for Essex according to the Met Office:

Tonight: Showers gradually easing through the evening, with most parts becoming dry after midnight. With light winds, a few mist or fog patches are possible by dawn. Minimum temperature 6 °C.

Tuesday: Some bright or sunny spells, but with scattered showers across the region by afternoon. Showers again possibly heavy and thundery, but tending to ease during the evening. Maximum temperature 17 °C.

Outlook for Wednesday to Friday: Sunshine and locally heavy showers on Wednesday. Much of Thursday dry and bright, but wind and rain by evening. Windy on Friday with showers or some longer spells of rain.

Friday to May 30: Unsettled conditions continuing, with scattered showers again developing across most areas. These showers are likely to be heavy at times, with thunderstorms possible in places. On Friday and possibly into the weekend, more prolonged spells of rain are likely at times, especially in the west. Into next week, there is a chance of more settled conditions to gradually become established. Whilst further rain and showers are possible, overall drier and brighter conditions should become more dominant. Staying rather cool for the time of year, although night time frost will be limited, mainly across rural, northern areas. During next week, there are some indications that conditions may start to turn warmer, with temperatures closer to normal for the time of year.

May 30 to June 13: It is likely for conditions to remain changeable with showers at first, but probably also more settled at times with a higher likelihood of drier conditions for many places compared to recent weeks. Temperatures probably recovering to nearer average but with more settled conditions bringing some warmer days, and some cooler nights remain possible.