UK weather: Britain hotter than Rome and Athens today but rain and gales on the way

Warnings are in place for rain and gales in Scotland over the coming days

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Parts of the UK are hotter than Rome, Athens and even Istanbul today as temperatures hit 17C.

The sun may not be shining everywhere but that has not stopped the unseasonably warm weather taking hold for most of the weekend.

It was 15C in London on Saturday lunchtime, a figure far above the Italian capital at 11C, Athens at 13C and almost double the temperature in Istanbul, Turkey, where it is 7C.

A forecaster at the Met Office said: “We are not looking at summer temperatures but it will be mid-teens, which is slightly above average for this time of year.

Evelyn Johnson (5) and her sister Bridgette (3) walk amongst daffodil blooms in Cheshire

“Most of the country will see these warmer temperatures but on Sunday it will start to cool down towards average.”

Part of north-west Scotland has a yellow warning of rain in place until noon on Sunday as a slow-moving weather front comes in, and a more serious orange alert has been issued over the Highlands.

The Met Office is warning people to be aware of the risk of localised flooding and transport disruption as up to 20cm of rainfall is expected in some parts.

Melting snow in the higher temperatures could also swell rivers and streams.

Snow melting in the Highlands could create the risk of flooding along with heavy rain

The rest of the UK will also see wet weather next week as a new front brings gale force winds and heavy rain.

A yellow warning is in place for strong winds over the whole of Scotland and parts of Northern Ireland from Monday through to Tuesday morning.

The Met Office said that 80 mph gusts could be seen in exposed parts of western and northern Scotland, reaching 70 mph elsewhere.

A spokesperson said: “The public should be aware of the potential for disruption from these strong winds.”

The low pressure system is currently expected to clip Scotland as it passes north-east towards Scandinavia, missing the rest of Britain.

Most of the country will see cloudy weather with strong winds and occasional rain, with temperatures closer to average for March.