UK weather: Britain hotter than Barcelona and the Seychelles as London hits 30C

But the heat is not expected to last

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Summer will return in a brief blaze to parts of Britain today after seemingly abandoning the isles some weeks ago - but will be followed by thunderstorms and torrential rain shortly after.

A weather phenomenon known as a "Spanish Plume" will drive thermometers up to 30C in London, 28C in the east and 25C in central England - but sunbathers are warned to be cautious about the aftermath.

As the name suggests, the "plume" is hot air moving up from the Spanish plateau towards the UK which, when it meets cooler air from the Atlantic, is forced rapidly upwards to produce thunderstorms and, sometimes, tornadoes.

The unstable weather means that for a few hours at least this weekend, some of the UK will be bathed in more heat than the Seychelles and Barcelona.

Yet whilst central and eastern England - notably Norwich, Cambridge, Bath and Birmingham - will be in the mid- to high- 20Cs, the north and the west will take the hit as the hot air cools.

Hail, flash foods and strong wind gusts are likely to sweep across the Midlands and further north, before spreading to Scotland overnight and into Sunday - though Northern Ireland is likely to escape undrenched.

Eastern England could also see its fair share of dark clouds and long downpour as the Met Office issued a yellow "be aware" warning last night for rain that lasting from 2pm to 9pm today.

The warning comes after US scientists found that July was the warmest month on record worldwide with an average global temperature of 16.5C, and 2015 is likely to be the hottest year.