A spell of “home-grown” warmth will leave the country sizzling on May’s last bank holiday, while temperatures will be as high as 77F (25C) today.
Most parts of England and Wales will enjoy 23C heat on Monday, making it hotter even than southern Spain – with little or no rain forecast across Britain.
But forecasters dismissed claims an “African plume” is on its way, saying a UK heatwave – which is sustained 77F to 82F (27C) temperatures for three days – will not occur this month.
Met Office expert Aiden McGivern said: “High pressure is in charge and will continue to be the key feature, bringing plenty of sunny skies.
“The South West will have the highest temperatures, 75F (24C) – I won’t rule out 77F (25C) – making it possibly the warmest day of the year so far.
“But it’s home-grown warmth, rather than imported heat. There’s no African plume, whatever that is.”
Neil Armstong, the Met Office’s chief forecaster, said reports of a warm weather front coming from southern Europe or Africa “are not true”.
He added: “However, if you are looking forward to a spell of largely fine, sunny and warm conditions across the majority of the UK, then you are going to be in luck.”
The good weather is due to continue across the whole weekend, with Saturday expected to be the warmest of the three days, with mercury measurements hanging around the low 20s.
But it will stay settled, dry, warm and sunny into next week, with slightly above-average temperatures forecast both for the end of spring and the beginning of June.
The sandy beach at Bournemouth, Dorset attracted many paddlers yesterday, while sun-dazzled shrubs at the Chelsea Flower Show in London may have needed a little extra watering.
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