Sunny weather to continue as bookies slash odds of hottest August on record
Barbecue weather over the Bank Holiday weekend is set to continue this week.
Temperatures of 23.2C (74F) were recorded on Monday afternoon in south-west London, but bookmakers are predicting that the mercury could rise further this week.
Ladbrokes are 2/1 that temperatures of 30C (86F) will be recorded before Sunday, while Coral have slashed the odds to 7/4 on August being the hottest on record.
Met Office forecaster Chris Page said: "We've had a brilliant Bank Holiday - lots of sunshine around, or decent sunny spells at least for a large chunk of the country. In fact in places we've seen wall to wall sunshine as well which has been really quite welcomed so a fine weekend.
"Really the general story for this week is actually quite a fine and settled week across the country.
"There will be some spells of light rain at times, mainly for the north and west of the country, however, it looks as though it will be dry with some spells of sunshine too and towards the south and east it will feel quite warm as well. Not a bad week at all in prospect."
The sunny conditions were welcomed by revellers at the Notting Hill Carnival.
However, a two-vehicle crash on the M5 led to the closure of the motorway in both directions near Weston-super-Mare and long tailbacks.
But those stuck in the traffic made the most of the good weather - sunbathing on the central reservation and playing football on the closed southbound carriageway.
Bank Holiday shoppers failed to make the tills ring, as footfall fell by 4.1% in comparison to last year.
The drop was coupled with an increase in footfall after 5pm on Saturday and Sunday, which Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said was due to a "growing demand for leisure activities".
"These results indicate the growth in trips focusing on experience rather than trips purely to buy products, and the growth of the hospitality sector," she said.
The good weather could be short lived, however, as Hurricane Gaston heads towards the UK - although its exact track is not yet known.
It could bring changeable conditions with wet and windy weather, especially in the north and west of the country.