Sunday set to be hottest day of the year

Sunday is expected to be the hottest day of the year so far with temperatures topping 30C (86F), forecasters said today.

With Murraymania set to sweep Wimbledon on Saturday and England taking on the arch enemy, Germany, in the World Cup on Sunday afternoon, this summer's latest heatwave could not have come at a better time.

The hottest day of the year so far was May 24, when the mercury reached 28.8C (84F) at Heathrow Airport and the Olympic Park in east London.

But this weekend could be even hotter with temperatures reaching 30C (86F) on Sunday afternoon. Saturday will be slightly cooler at 26C (79F) with London and the south-east seeing the sunniest spells.

It will also be scorching in the west and Midlands but sun-seekers in Northern Ireland and Scotland will be less fortunate as it will be cloudy and there is a risk of heavy showers, possibly even thunderstorms.

Weather forecaster Steve Ellison, from MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said the heatwave was caused by a ridge of high pressure across central and eastern England.

He said: "It's looking pretty hot and sunny this weekend, especially across southern areas. The rest of Europe is pretty hot over the weekend too."

The weather is good news for sports fans.

In SW19 Murraymania will move up a notch tomorrow at the All England Club. Andy Murray, the British No 1, will be battling it out with Gilles Simon in his third round match and Wimbledon officials have taken measures to ensure spectators do not wilt in the heat.

They expect to sell 1,000 bottles of suncream, while tennis fans will enjoy 8,615 punnets of strawberries.

Watching the matches, even if they don't last more than 11 hours, will be thirsty work in the heat. Some 19,200 bottles of water will be drunk along with 15,384 glasses of Pimm's, 7,600 pints of draught beer and 1,500 bottles of champagne.

For those attending Glastonbury, so often blighted by rain and mud, there will be plenty of sun-bathing between gigs, with thermometers topping 25C (77F).

So far medics at the festival, where Gorillaz, Muse and Stevie Wonder will be headlining, have treated 1,185 people, mostly for heat-stroke and other sun-related ailments.

For music fans not making it to Glastonbury, the Hard Rock Calling concert in London's Hyde Park will be the place to get the best of the weather.

Some 150,000 people will be packing in to see the likes of Sir Paul McCartney and Pearl Jam, while Stevie Wonder will take to the stage tomorrow night before heading to Somerset on Sunday.

Tesco said it expects to sell one million burgers for BBQs, while the supermarket hopes to sell 10,000 televisions this weekend as England fans look to upgrade their box ahead of Sunday's clash with Germany.

Meanwhile, a survey conducted for Asda found England manager Fabio Capello has one of the best beach bodies around. Actress Helen Mirren tops the chart for the ladies but music mogul Simon Cowell and former Prime Minister Tony Blair should steer clear of their Bermuda shorts, according to the poll.

The supermarket's clothing line George at Asda has sold 165,000 bikinis in recent days, up 47% on this time last year.

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