UK weather: Forecasters predict 'plenty of sunshine'


Britain is basking in warm, sunny weather this weekend after an unseasonal start to August. 

Temperatures will today hit highs of 25C (77F) or 26C (78.8F) across England and Wales, forecasters said.

The hot weather will continue on Sunday, when the East Midlands and East Anglia will see temperatures of between 25C (77F) and 27C (80.6F), much higher than average temperatures for the time of year. 

The sun shone at Trent Bridge this morning as England's cricketers made a decisive defeat against Australia and regained the Ashes, while visitors to the Bristol Balloon Fiesta have also been treated to blue skies.

Organisers of Boardmasters, the Newquay-based surf and music festival, are breathing a sigh of relief, as crowds enjoyed sunny weather. Last year's event was cancelled due to heavy rain and wind. 

The hot weather is also good news for football fans, who flocked to grounds around the country for the first weekend of the new season.

Gemma Plumb, forecaster at weather organisation Meteogroup, said: "It's quite cloudy across western Scotland and northern Ireland. Clouds are increasing there, and it's going to turn quite windy.

"But elsewhere, there's plenty of sunshine around. We're looking at highs today of around 25C (77F) or 26C (78.8F) across England and Wales."

It is not a sunny picture for the whole of the UK though, and cloud and patchy rain will move into northern and western parts on Sunday. 

After a roaring start to July, with its hottest ever day on July 1 of 36.7C (98F) at Heathrow, much of the rest of the month was a damp squib.

But with temperatures expected to reach the high 20s over the weekend, bookmakers have slashed their odds on August being the hottest on record in the UK.

Coral has cut its odds from 3-1 to 2-1, and the firm has seen a flurry of money being bet on this month beating previous highs.

The bookmaker also has odds of 8-1 for the UK to have the hottest year on record.

John Hill, from the firm, said: "Before the month got under way, August was well backed to be the hottest on record as punters were banking on a heatwave.

"Following another flurry of bets, we are now starting to sweat over this gamble being landed as temperatures are set to rise once again over the weekend."