Temperatures are set to soar by the end of the week as the mercury reaches a balmy 96F (36C) on Friday – ahead of a week-long roast and a risk of heavy thunderstorms next week.
Brits are expected to enjoy highs of 82F (28C) tomorrow before temperatures rise dramatically closer to the weekend.
Marco Petagna, a Met Office forecaster, told MailOnline: ‘Most areas will be seeing sunny spells and then starting to see temperatures climbing as the warmer air is imported from the continent.’
Temperatures are expected to reach the high 90s in parts of the UK when hot weather moves over from Europe on Friday, but Mr Petagna warned it would not be ‘wall to wall good weather’.
‘Northern Ireland and western Scotland could see heavy rain and thunder,’ he added. ‘England and Wales will be generally dry. The best of the weather will be across central and south eastern England while Wales will be widely high 70s.
‘In the southeast it could be 96F (36C). Last Friday we got to 100F (37.8C) but this week 96F (36C) is the most likely. There is a chance it could be higher but it depends on whether there is patchy cloud.’
The highest temperature reached so far this year was 100F (37.8C), recorded at Heathrow on Friday, July 31.
The warm weather will continue into the weekend with Kent seeing highs of 95F (35C) and London enjoying the low 80s on Saturday.
Casablanca, in Morocco, is due to see highs of 81F (27C) on Friday, by comparison. While Lisbon has seen recent hot weather, it is expected to have peaked by the weekend with temperatures around 86F (30C).
‘Most areas into the weekend look fine, a bit fresher but even then the southeast holds onto high temperatures,’ Mr Petagna added.
‘Maximum temperatures for Sunday is 86F (30C) in the southeast. The weekend does look mostly dry with lots of sunshine around and heat lingering across the southeast.’
But the hot weather is set to abruptly end with a high risk of thunderstorms into next week, according to deputy chief meteorologist, David Oliver.
He said the high temperatures would trigger thunderstorms across the UK, but details over exactly where these were likely to form was still unknown.
‘Through the weekend there will be plenty of dry and sunny weather for most,’ he added. ‘The high temperatures could trigger some thunderstorms across parts of the UK by the beginning of next week.’
Chief met office meteorologist Dan Suri confirmed a heatwave was set to hit Britain on Friday and Saturday. He said: ‘Saturday will likely be another hot day for southern and central parts of the UK, with heatwave conditions possibly being met in parts of southeast England and East Anglia.’
It comes after a YouGov poll found 28 per cent of Britons plan to take a holiday in the UK this year – the equivalent of about 19million people – while only nine per cent will go abroad and a further 49 per cent do not intend on holidaying at all.
And the warm weather will concern local authorities in areas such as Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Sussex which can expect another huge influx of holidaymakers as people in the UK shun foreign trips to go on staycations.
Beleaguered Cornish residents reported over the weekend how the popular county had turned into ‘Benidorm on steroids’ as floods of visitors left them too scared to leave their homes.
Meanwhile Thanet District Council in Kent begged people to avoid four of the area’s beaches – including the popular Margate’s Main Sands – due to the number of visitors.
And a drunken fight broke out on the seafront in Brighton on Saturday night as two women went toe-to-toe and others cheered and ignored social distancing.
Over the weekend, street marshals were deployed in Cornwall as tourists poured down narrow streets and flouted social-distancing rules – despite clear warning signs in place.
Cornwall Council slammed the ‘ignorant’ visitors who descended on beauty spots without their face masks, as Britons elsewhere appeared to ignore social distancing rules while gathering at bars.