It looks like the UK will endure a mini heat wave starting next week, with above normal temperatures rising steadily to 22 or 23 degrees in the south later in the month, meteorologists predict.
After April, sunny and dry conditions will prevail in the south, with average maximum temperatures generally above normal and the UK having about a third less rain than usual.
It will warm up in the coming days as high pressure moves across the UK, with temperatures as high as 21C in southern England on Thursday and around 17C as far as northern Aberdeen in Scotland.
Temperatures will drop slightly on Friday, although they can reach 20C in the south and east of England, with the weekend turning dry and warm as high pressure dominates.
BBC weather said the jet stream flowing over the UK early next week will result in wind and rain in the north and showers in the south east, but it would still be warmer than usual for the time of year.
Towards the middle of the week there is a chance of very warm weather in the south, possibly towards the mid-20s.
The Met Office’s forecast for next week is broadly stable weather, with any rain limited to the western and northern areas: “Tempers are likely to rise above average for the first few days, except closer to the coast and perhaps at the extremes. north, where possible slightly cooler conditions, and it is expected to get warm later in the period, maybe very warm.”
A heat wave is defined as three consecutive days or more when a certain temperature threshold is reached or exceeded.
The second half of May will see a change, with more unstable conditions bringing with them periods of rain or showers.
“There are also drier periods, especially in the south, as is typical for late spring. Temperatures remain above average, especially in the south where it can be very warm early in the period. Further north there is a return to near-normal conditions later in the month,” the Met Office said.
Temperatures are “a few degrees above where they should be at this time of year,” said Marco Petagna of the Met Office.
The hottest day in the UK so far this year was Good Friday, when 23.4C (74F) was recorded in St James’s Park in central London.