UK records year’s top temperature with mercury expected to rise

The UK has recorded its highest temperature of the year so far as people flocked to parks and beaches with lockdown measures eased.

Sunbathers made the most of their new-found freedom by heading outdoors to enjoy the warm weather as London’s St James’s Park saw a high of 26.2C (79.16F) in on Tuesday – beating 2020’s previous top of 26C (78.8F) set last month.

The Met Office predicted a mild night with many places staying in double figures.

The sunshine is set to continue for most of the UK on Wednesday, with temperatures set to hit 28C (82.4F).

Met Office meteorologist Greg Dewhurst said: “There will be a bit of a grey, misty start for some first thing but that will quickly burn away.

“The vast majority of the UK will have a dry day with sunny spells, if not blue skies all day for some.”

A woman sunbathes on a deck chair
A woman sunbathes on a deck chair in Greenwich Park, London (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

He predicted the hottest day of the year so far, with temperatures in the 20s and highs of 28C in the London area.

There is a risk of thunderstorms on Thursday in east and south-east England as a band of rain pushes eastwards.

Temperatures are predicted to cool from 24C (75.2F) or 25C (77F) before the rain to a fresher 17C (62.6F) to 21C (69.8F) on Friday.

Mr Dewhurst predicted a windy start to the weekend with sunshine and showers for many with the weather gradually turning drier from the south on Sunday and into bank holiday Monday.

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