UK storm alert: Rain and lightning to see 32C heatwave come to crashing end – new maps
BBC Weather: UK set for sunshine and scattered showers
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Many parts of the UK are set for searing temperatures this weekend as a blast of warm air drifts in from the Azores in the North Atlantic prompting health officials to issue warnings about the dangers of extreme heat. The sunshine is due to last until so-called “Freedom Day” on Monday, the day when the last of the COVID-19 restrictions are due to be lifted.
But forecasters from the Met Office and The Weather Outlook have warned of thundery weather and storms moving from the South bringing unsettled conditions from the middle of next week.
Forecasters said the thundery conditions will be caused by a new Atlantic low-pressure system moving in as the Azores high pressure this weekend moves away to Scandinavia.
Brain Gaze, forecaster at The Weather Outlook, added: “During the middle of the week the risk of thundery showers begins to increase.
“Later on downpours or longer spells of rain could become more widespread.”
The thundery conditions are due to occur from Thursday with rainfall expected to be near or rather above normal in southeast England, but with considerable localised variations due to thundery downpours.
Elsewhere it will mostly be drier than average, particularly in northwest England and the majority of Scotland.
Sunshine totals are expected to be near normal in the south of Britain, but generally above normal elsewhere, especially in northern England and southern Scotland.
It comes as London and the South East can expect clear skies and highs of 29C on Saturday with the mercury climbing to between 31C and 32C on Sunday.
Even areas further north including Hull and Newcastle are expected to reach the mid to high 20s as the weekend progresses with temperatures building day-on-day, according to the Met Office.
The hottest day of the year so far was 29.7C recorded at Teddington in southwest London on June 14.
Met Office meteorologist Simon Partridge said the weather may take people by surprise “because so far this summer has not been that great”.
He added: “Temperatures have generally been below average for quite a while – it’s the difference in temperature in such a short space of time that is the most noticeable.
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“But it will affect most of the UK and that is a little bit more unusual – Scotland and Northern Ireland just got their warmest day of the year.
“Northern Ireland might get closer to its highest-ever temperature, which to be fair is only just above 30C.”
The Met Office said a mini-heatwave is “definitely on the cards” as a result of the temperatures and conditions.
For London and the South East to record a heatwave, temperatures must exceed 28C for at least three days, while this drops to 27C in the Midlands and 26C in the South West.
In Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Devon and Cornwall and the North East it is 25C.
The warnings come after a week of flash flooding in the southeast of England, causing severe disruption to transport in London.
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