Britain is set to bask in its hottest temperatures of the year so far, with the mercury expected to soar higher than in parts of Spain this week.
Most of England and Wales will enjoy sunshine and warm conditions over the next three days as forecasters predict temperatures could reach as high as 24C (75.2F) in London on Wednesday – 10C (50F) above the average for the time of year.
And the country could see warm weather continue over the next few months after the Met Office confirmed that hotter-than-average temperatures are more than twice as likely than below-average conditions until June.
Paul Mott, forecaster at MeteoGroup, said that after snow was recorded on the Pennines yesterday, the weather will be “quite a bit different over the next few days.”
Temperatures will reach as high as 16C (60.8F) in south east England today, while Scotland will be cooler, with the mercury struggling to get above 10C (50F) and rain forecast in the north west of the country.
Tomorrow, temperatures will reach up to 22C (71.6F) in south east England, while Scotland will again have a “disappointing” maximum of 15C (59F), Mr Mott said.
Wednesday is likely to be the warmest of the year for much of Britain, with the mercury reaching up to 24C (75.2F) in London and South East England, according to MeteoGroup.
The South East is expected to be warmer than southern and central Spain, with Alicante expected to be 22C (71.6F) and Madrid 18C (64.4F) on Wednesday.
Temperatures could reach 21C (69.8F) in Wales, 18C (64.4F) across the north of England and 12C (53.6F) in Scotland.
Mr Mott said the forecast for Thursday and Friday was “more uncertain” when it is expected to be cooler but will remain dry.
The predicted hot weather is the result of a plume of warm air heading towards the UK from the south west, coming from as far as the Azores Islands, he added.
Meanwhile, a Met Office spokesman confirmed that near to above-average temperatures are predicted for April to June.
There is a 20-25% chance that mean temperatures for the UK will fall into the warmest category, compared with a 10% chance of falling into the coldest category, he said.
It comes after temperatures soared on Friday, with the mercury hitting 21.9C (71.42F) in St James’s Park in London.
With the heat came high levels of air pollution – Eastern, South East, East Midlands, Greater London, West London, West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humberside areas were all affected by poor air quality.
Asthma sufferers, people with heart problems and older people were advised to “reduce physical exertion”, particularly while outdoors.
“It will certainly turn much warmer,” he said. ” Across England and Wales it will be dry, bright and there will be lengthy periods of sunshine.”