Britain is set to roast in the hottest spring bank holiday ever
Blazing sunshine and roasting temperatures are tipped to hold out into the start of August bringing the nation its long-awaited barbecue summer.
The mercury will rocket over the coming days as a plume of sweltering air from the Continent pushes thermometers into the low 30Cs.
Britain will put hotspots like Mallorca, Spain, Barbados, and even parts of the Far East including Singapore and Bangkok, Thailand, in the shade in the coming days.
The heatwave will reach a crescendo on Saturday which is currently shaping up be the hottest May day ever.
Blistering heat and stifling humidity threaten to push the mercury past the 32.8C (91.04F) record set In London in 1922 at some point over the weekend.
The 32.2C (89.96F) highest ever temperature for the spring Bank Holiday measured at South Farnborough, in 1944, could also tumble.
The Met Office is predicting temperatures up to the low 30Cs into the start of the weekend with tropical warmth threatening spectacular thunderstorms.
Today (Thursday) is looking like the hottest day of the year so far
Forecaster Emma Sharples said a plume of warm air from the Continent will bring the highest temperatures to Scotland and the north.
While today (Thursday) is shaping up to be the hottest day of the year so far, temperatures will climb steadily over the next 72 hours, she added.
Saturday is currently shaping up be the hottest May day ever
She said: “Today (Thursday) is looking like the hottest day of the year so far, but with Friday and Saturday looking very sunny and hot we expect they will bring higher temperatures still.
“Northern Scotland could see 30C (86F) on Friday as warm air from the Continent is squeezed northwards however there is the chance of some thundery outbreaks bringing intense downpours.
“Temperatures are likely to peak on Saturday with highs widely in the mid to upper 20Cs and possibly touching the low 30Cs in parts.
“Depending on how things pan out there is around a 20 per cent chance we could reach or exceed the record high temperature for May.”
She warned soaring humidity will make for a very warm and muggy night on Friday with temperatures unlikely to drop below the mid teens.
“Friday night into Saturday will be incredibly humid,” she added.
“This and the heat over the weekend will bring unstable conditions, particularly to the south, where there could be some thunder, lightning and heavy rainfall.”
Long-range forecasters say this could be the start of a glorious, sun-drenched scorching British summer.
James Madden, forecaster for Exacta Weather, said temperatures are likely to remain well above average into the start of June.
He said while there will be some cooler interludes over the next few months, Britain will be hit by a run of major heatwaves through the season.
Soaring humidity and extreme heat will trigger explosive thundery outbreaks through the summer, he added.
He said: “Spanish pluming from the near Continent will be part and parcel of the upcoming summer 2017 period bringing numerous heat surges over the coming months.
The Met Office is predicting temperatures up to the low 30Cs into the start of the weekend
“However there will be an increased risk for some mixed and cooler weather at times and we expect the right atmospheric conditions for some vigorous and widespread thunderstorm activity.
“This would see hefty hail showers and even the risk for some significant flood events, particularly into July and the second half of August.
“However, we now have high confidence that multiple and major heat surges will occur throughout the upcoming summer period.
“Early projections keep consistently indicating that this summer could break or near a number of types of temperature records in terms of maximum heat at times.”
The Met Office said above-average temperatures are more likely than not through until the end of July.
Its long-range contingency planner said warmer than normal sea waters around the UK coasts will boost summer warmth.
A plume of warm air will bring the highest temperatures to Scotland and the north
It states: “Sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic Ocean continue to be mostly above average, with negative anomalies evident between Iceland and the east coast of Canada.
“Sea surface temperatures around the UK are above normal, increasing the chances of higher-than-average UK temperatures through the period.
“For May-June-July as a whole, warmer-than-average conditions are considered more probable than below-average.”
The Met Office’s June outlook adds: “More settled weather may begin to dominate for a time towards the middle of the month, bringing drier and brighter weather for many.
“Temperatures are likely to be close to normal at first, but may become generally warm, perhaps locally very warm for a time during mid June.
“By the latter part of the month, there is a possibility of more unsettled conditions developing once more.”