Barbecue weather gives way to thunderstorms and rain

Barbecue weather looks set to come to an end as thunderstorms and rain showers set in for the next week, forecasters said today.

The UK enjoyed a sunny start to the weekend with eastern parts of England basking in the warmest weather.

Charlwood in Surrey saw the highest temperature, 27.4C (81.3F), while the mercury hit 27C (80.6F) at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk.

Forecaster Gemma Plumb from Meteogroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said the picture is much more mixed for tomorrow and next week.

She said: "It's looking really unsettled. Tomorrow it looks as if it's going to be another warm day but a bit cooler. Temperatures will probably not reach above 23C (73.4F).

"There will be showers and spells of rain, some of them could be heavy and there is a risk of thunderstorms.

"On Monday it will be cooler and there will be further showers and longer spells of rain. There is a similar pattern for really the next week."

Thunderstorms set in across northern Scotland today, and more are expected to move north from France across South East England and East Anglia in the early hours of Sunday.

More rain could be seen in the Midlands tonight, which is then expected to move northwards.

Despite the downturn in temperatures, bookmaker Ladbrokes cut the odds on the mercury hitting record-breaking levels this year.

It put the chances of the highest temperature ever recorded in Britain, currently 38.5C (101.3 F), being exceeded at 7/2.

David Williams from the firm said: "Weather betting has hit an all-time high and we're running scared of the temperatures doing the same."