Parts of the UK will enjoy a mini-heatwave next week as temperatures soar to as high as 23C.
Forecasters say the south-east of England could see temperatures hitting the mid-20s by the end of the week which will be on par with Costa del Sol, Rome and Greece.
An influx of warm, continental air from Monday will see the biggest impact in the south-east of England, but the whole of England and Wales is set for warm sunny weather with temperatures 10C above the norm for mid-April.
The Met Office says thermometers will rise gradually through the week but has warned that fronts from the Atlantic, battling to move in from the west, will mean some areas of western Scotland and Northern Ireland could see more showery weather.
Met Office meteorologist Sarah Kent said this tussle between the warm air from the south and the wet weather in the west – which will bring rain to most places on Sunday – will finally be won by the continental influence on Monday.
She told the Standard: “It will be largely dry at the start of the week with some sunshine, and temperatures will reach the early 20s by mid-week.”
She said temperatures in the south-east could hit 15 or 16C at the start of the working week.
Ms Kent said: “By Tuesday across London we could see 18C, maybe 19C. By Wednesday, there’s still going to be some patchy rain in parts of the north-west but England and Wales will have this continental air coming in.
“So, dry weather for them, plenty of sunshine again.
“Temperatures on Wednesday will again be highest in the south-east. London could see between 20C and 23C. And in fact, going further north, places like York could see 18C to 20c. And, even for Glasgow, it could be 17C or 18C on Wednesday.”
Ms Kent said: “The trend into the end of the week is to continue this feed of warmer continental air across England and Wales. Those frontal systems are always trying to battle into the north-west, so it could be cloudier there with some more mixed weather at times.
“But, by the end of the week, in the that far south-eastern corner we could see temperatures into the low to mid-20s.”
“We expect to see highs of 20C throughout the day on Monday, followed by an even higher peak of 23C on Tuesday.
“Although it’s difficult to say for sure at this stage, we imagine temperatures will remain relatively high as the week goes on,” he added.
The UK capital will enjoy the mini-heatwave after a generally warm weekend with a mixture of bright spells and scattered showers.
It will be cloudy before brightening up, with patchy showers to be expected, though most parts will remain dry, the Met Office said.
Ms Kent said: “The weather in London is looking cloudy this Friday afternoon with possible bright spells by teatime, with temperatures reaching approximately 13C or 14C.
A yellow severe weather warning for rain has been issued for south-west England today, however.
The Met Office said in a statement: “A warning for heavy rain has been issued in southwest England for this afternoon and evening. Locally heavy showers will affect the area possibly bringing difficult driving conditions, stay #weatheraware”.
Heavy showers may form during Friday afternoon between 2pm and 9pm, with a small chance of flooding causing possible damage to some buildings. There are no further warnings for the weekend.
The weekend in London is looking more promising with highs above those expected on Portugal’s south coast, peaking at 18C.
Ms Kent continued: “Saturday morning will begin cloudy but dry, brightening up later in the morning with an outside chance of rain – though most places will be dry and temperatures will be around 17C and 18C.”
Sunday is set to be slightly cooler at 15C and 16C. Kent said: “Sunday will start cloudy and we can expect patchy rain by the middle of the day, which should clear by evening with the possibility of a little bit of sunshine in the afternoon.”