Mini heatwave on the way after unsettled weekend
The UK looks set to enjoy a mini heatwave next week, with the mercury topping 34C in some parts of the country.
After an unsettled weekend of showers and thunderstorms, temperatures are set to rise from Monday.
If temperatures stay high in the same spots for three consecutive days, the Met Office deems it a heatwave.
But before the sunshine, the UK is facing a wet weekend.
Heavy thunderstorms are forecast across Northern Ireland and parts of Scotland on Friday evening – with a risk of lightning, hail and sudden downpours.
A yellow weather warning is in force across the region.
Across the south coast there will also be downpours, causing potentially difficult driving conditions, with Sussex and Kent likely to be the hardest hit, the Met Office said.
Saturday will be a mix of sunshine and showers, with a band of rain pushing from west to east over the course of the day.
It will stay warm, however, with temperatures sitting between 25C (77F) and 26C (78.8F)
Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said: “Sunday will be a little bit drier with a few showers here and there and temperatures again reaching 25C (77F) to 26C (78.8F).
“Across Northern Ireland and western Scotland it’s going to be wet and windy later.”
He continued: “Monday will be wet and windy across northwestern parts of the UK, elsewhere there will be one or two showers but temperatures will be rising – we’re looking at highs of 29C (84.2).
“On Tuesday the rain and strong winds in the North West will have eased and it will turn drier, elsewhere there should be lots of sunshine with highs of 33C (91.4F) or higher.”
London and the South East have the greatest chance of getting to 33C (91.4F), he said.
Wednesday could reach 34C (93.2F) in the East and South East – equalling this year’s record high which was set at Heathrow and Northolt on June 29.
The hottest July day on record is 36.7C (98F) – a record which looks unlikely to be beaten next week.
Mr Burkill said: “There’s a risk of some thundery showers developing through the rest of the week, there’s a bit of uncertainty.
“We could see some wet weather coming in from the west so things could turn a bit fresher, or the hot and sunny weather could continue.
“But it doesn’t look like temperatures will get much hotter than 34C (93.2F).”
He added: “The hot weather could last through much of the next week and into next weekend or it could break down much earlier – there’s a lot to play for.”