A scorching blast from Africa will push thermometers more than 15C higher than average in what is shaping up to be the hottest spell of weather for a year. The mercury threatens to hit a sizzling 35C (95F) across southern England by Thursday as Scotland and the north rockets into the high 20Cs. South-eastern Britain is in the direct path of a blowtorch Saharan plume with hot weather records expected to tumble across the region. The highest temperature for July 25 is 33.9C (93F) which was recorded at Regent’s Park London, in 1900.
The 36.7C (98.06F) overall record for the month could be under threat over the coming days if the heat holds out until the weekend, according to the Met Office.
Meteorologist Sophie Yeomans said: “We might start to contend with these figures depending on whether the heat holds out beyond Wednesday, but for the moment we predict a maximum temperature of 34C (93.2F) for the middle of the week.
“Hot air originating from Africa is going to come up through France and Spain where they are going to experience heatwave conditions.
“It is going to bring some of those conditions to the UK with temperatures starting to rise on Sunday, this is when we really start to see the hot weather building.
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“It is not certain how long this is going to last but we are quite certain of a hot spell on the way and a few places could reach heatwave criteria.”
Temperatures will hit 34C (93.2F) by the middle of the week although the mercury could lift ‘a bit higher’ if the sunshine holds out until the weekend, she said.
The heatwave will kick off on Sunday across much of southern England although it will be slower to warm up further north, she added.
“It will be a different story to start off with in the northwest as they are stuck in the jet stream,” she said.
“Low-pressure systems coming into the region will bring rain, and there could be a fair amount.”
Weather models reveal temperatures hitting 35C (95F) across southern Britain into the second half of the week with highs of 30C (86F) expected in central Britain and 20C (68F) to 25C (77F) further north.
UK weather forecast: Maximum temperature set to soar
Blazing sunshine could push ground temperatures across the southeast to a sizzling 37C (98.6F) as warm air wafts up from France where highs of 44C (111.2F) are predicted.
Extreme heat and humidity will lead to volatile atmospheric conditions with widespread thunderstorms possible ahead of next weekend.
Widespread fine, dry weather will start to bed in later this weekend, according to Katie Greening, a meteorologist with The Weather Company.
She said: “Pressure will build from the south and It will turn drier from Sunday, although Atlantic low pressure cells skirting western Britain will give outbreaks of rain to Ireland and Scotland.
“Hot weather will build next week as air is drawn northward off the near-continent.
“We expect temperatures to hit the 30Cs in the southeast but widely they could reach the mid to high-20Cs.
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“There are indications of temperatures dropping from mid-week with the possibility of a thundery breakdown Wednesday or Thursday.”
Searing heat could see a raft of monthly and seasonal records tumble with the current maximum for the month set at 36.7C (98.06F) logged at London’s Heathrow Airport.
James Madden, forecaster for Exacta Weather, warned bookies may be paying out with the mercury set to nudge into new territory.
He said: “By the middle of next will see maximum temperatures rising to the low to mid 30Cs in parts to the south of the country, and even parts further north are likely to see temperatures peaking in the mid to high 20Cs.
“Some local or national heat records cannot be ruled for this period as of yet.”
Scotland and the north will be more at risk of showers although much of the UK will be at risk of thunderstorms by the end of the week, he added.
UK weather forecast: Britain braces for another heatwave with soaring temperatures
UK weather forecast: Soaring temperatures this week
He said: “It may not be entirely settled the further north you are this week, and as always with this type of set-up there will be the risk of thunderstorm activity.
“Nevertheless this will still be a a welcomed spell of summer weather.”
Bookmaker Ladbrokes has slashed the odds to 1-2 on Britain baking in the hottest day of the year next week with 4-7 on July breaking records and 7-4 on a book-busting summer.
Spokesman Alex Apati said: “Temperatures are back on the rise and the timing couldn’t be better as odds on this being a record-breaking summer continue to tumble.”
Met Office chief Meteorologist Andy Page warned: “As we head into next week temperatures will increase daily across much of England and Wales as hot air is drawn up from France and Spain.
“Temperatures could reach 34C (93.2F) by Wednesday in parts of central, southern or eastern areas and heatwave thresholds are likely to be reached in some places.”