UK Weather: Sun and high temperatures for rest of week as warm air from Africa brings heatwave to Britain

Temperatures currently 10C higher than May monthly average

Caroline Mortimer
Sunday 08 May 2016 21:27
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People making the most of the sunshine in Margate, Kent as temperatures reach the high 20s in southern England
People making the most of the sunshine in Margate, Kent as temperatures reach the high 20s in southern England

Britain is expected to continue to bask in sunshine and high temperatures as warm air from Africa sees the May heatwave continue.

Sunday was the country's hottest day of the year so far as temperatures reached as high as 27.1C in St James Park in London - warmer than Ibiza and Istanbul.

The Met Office says the warm spell will continue as a south-easterly wind flowing up through Europe from Africa pushes conditions 10C higher than May’s monthly average.

A spokesman told The Independent the entire country had seen the hottest day of the year so far on Sunday.

"The reason behind that is that we have had this south easterly air flow which has brought the warmer area off the continent which originated in Africa," he said.

“As we work through today and into tomorrow we basically have a band of rain pushing out from the south west introducing some wetter and cloudy weather for the southern half of the UK.

“The further north you are the more likely you are to hang on to that dry, bright weather and in fact Scotland is likely to see their warmest day of the year so far on Monday."

People walk through St James's Park in central London 

But he also warned the country could expect some light showers as a band of wind pushes up from the south west, producing some wetter and cloudy weather in the south of England.

The heatwave is unlikely to last beyond the end of next week, when the weather service says temperatures are expected to fall as the wind direction changes, drawing air in from north eastern Europe.

The spokesman said cooler weather just meant “cooler compared to recent days” and that temperatures would return to average for the time of year.

Over the next month, the picture is still unclear but temperatures are likely to remain around average with just a few cool spells on the east coast.

Bookmakers have already begun taking bets on a record-breaking summer with Coral offering even money on 2016 becoming the hottest year on record for the UK.

Spokesman John Hill said a sustained rise in the number of people taking the bet in the past 48 hours has lead them to slash the odds from 3-1.

He said: "Punters are convinced we are set for the hottest year on record in the UK as we've seen a sustained gamble in the betting over the last few days.

"We may not have to wait long for 30C or higher to be recorded in 2016 as the odds suggest it is likely to arrive this month."

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