UK temperatures set to soar
After a disappointingly cool and wet August, warm weather coming northwards from the Mediterranean is set to send temperatures rocketing over the coming week.
Forecasters predict sunshine will bathe large parts of the UK over the next few days, with temperatures in the South and West reaching 25C (77F) or even 26C (78.8F).
This is considerably warmer than the mid-September average of around 17C (62.6F), the Met Office said.
The unusual warmth is down to an area of high pressure over the UK moving slowly towards Scandinavia throughout the week, bringing low pressure towards southern parts of Britain.
While this will bring some heavy showers - along with cloud from the North Sea that will keep some eastern parts cooler - the low pressure will also drag in warm winds from the Mediterranean Sea and France, leading to rising temperatures across parts of the country.
Mark Wilson, a meteorologist with the Met Office, said it would feel warmer with each day during the week but not everywhere would see sunshine.
He said: "In the far north east and in eastern Scotland in particular it is going to stay that bit cloudier and therefore be cooler.
"But elsewhere, the further west you go there is going to be more in the way of sunny spells, and day by day we are going to see a gradual increase in temperatures.
"Today we are expecting highs of around 22C (71.6F) in the London area, but tomorrow we could be seeing 23C (73.4F). By Thursday, in the parts of the country that get the sunshine - the West and the South - we could be seeing 25C (77F) or even 26C (78.8F)."
Mr Wilson said it would not be a case of "wall-to-wall sunshine", with a risk of some showers in southern and central parts and temperatures cooling a little over the weekend, but there was a suggestion that fine weather would continue into next week.
While the temperatures are expected to be abnormally high they will not constitute an "Indian summer", Mr Wilson said.
The Met Office's meteorological glossary, first published in 1916, defines an Indian summer as "a warm, calm spell of weather occurring in autumn, especially in October and November", usually occurring after the first frost of the year.
It said the warmest recorded temperatures in the UK in October and November were 29.9C (85.8F) on October 1 2011 in Gravesend, Kent, and 21.7C (71F) on November 4 1946 in Prestatyn, Denbighshire.
The fine weather forecast for this week comes after a poor August.
The month this year was the coldest since 1993, with a mean temperature of just 13.9C (57F), taking into account temperatures at day and night, around 1C below the average.
It was also the wettest August in the UK since 2004 and the seventh wettest since 1910, with above average rainfall in most places and more rainfall than June and July combined.
As well as the expected fine weather for the coming week t here was also good news from the west Atlantic, with forecasts predicting that Hurricane Edouard, the fifth named of this year's Atlantic hurricane season, will stay well out to sea and track south towards the Azores, away from the UK.