Britain is set to bask in Mediterranean temperatures in the coming days, with London predicted to be hotter than Ibiza.
Sky News’ weather presenter Nazaneen Ghaffar said this week could be the hottest week of the summer so far, predicting temperatures in the South to reach 34C (93F) by Thursday.
Following Monday’s mild start, the capital will reach around 30C (86F) mid-week – two degrees hotter than the forecast for Ibiza.
It could also set a new record for the year.
The hottest day of 2020 so far was on 20 May when temperatures hit 28.2C (82.8F) at Santon Downham in Suffolk, beating the record set from the day before when St James’s Park in London recorded a high of 26.2C (79.2F).
The Met Office has forecast a north-south split from Monday, with temperatures reaching the mid-20s in the South of England and mid-teens in Scotland.
Daytime showers are also forecast for northern Scotland and Ireland until Monday evening.
Met Office chief meteorologist Dan Suri said: “Northern Ireland and Scotland will be under a band of cloud and rain on Monday and Tuesday; however, it’ll be dry elsewhere with plenty of warm sunshine and temperatures reaching 28C (82.4F) or 29C (84.2F) in a few spots on Tuesday.
“Temperatures will continue to climb through the week with a hot spell developing across much of England and Wales.
“From Wednesday temperatures will widely reach into the high twenties Celsius and it’ll be hot across much of the UK, especially central and southern England where we could see highs of 30C (86F) to 34C (93.2F).
“This hot weather is expected to last until at least Friday and so heatwave conditions are likely to develop for some areas this week.”
Mr Suri said that Britain should also expect some warm nights this week as temperatures overnight will remain in the mid-high teens across England and Wales.
The hot weather is due to high pressure to the east of the UK, bringing a clockwise direction of air across the country and therefore winds coming from the Atlantic, Sky’s Nazaneen Ghaffar said.
She added: “Initially the warm weather will be across the majority of England and Wales where it’ll be largely dry and sunny.
“Further north and west across Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and perhaps the far northwest of Wales and England it’ll be cooler and cloudier with spells of rain at times for the first few days of this week.
“By Thursday, the north and west of the UK and Ireland will also see warm sunny weather, but it won’t be as warm as the southern parts.”
With the anticipated hot weather and the government’s COVID-19 alert level lowered to three, emergency services are urging people to continue to respect social distancing measures.
Meteorologists are unsure how long the heatwave will last, however, and there could be a change later in the week with the potential for thunderstorms on Friday.
“We may see a breakdown of the heat with thunderstorms breaking out quite widely,” Ghaffar said.
“The thunderstorms may have origins from a Spanish plume. The showers could bring torrential downpours, hail, frequent lightning and strong winds. Later in the day there also looks to be thicker cloud and rain spreading in from the west, ushering in cooler conditions.”
She added: “The rest of the week looks to remain unsettled, with further showers or longer spells of rain and temperatures returning to normal again.”