Britain to swelter for two more days before heatwave eases
Temperatures could peak at 34C (93.2F) in some parts of the south east on Tuesday, before dropping off mid-week.
Britons heading back to work after the weekend sunshine will be loosening their ties for two more sweltering days before the heatwave cools off.
The mercury is set to rocket past 30C (85F) in parts of the UK on Monday, with 33C possible in London and to the east of the capital as the working week kicks off.
And temperatures could edge a degree higher on Tuesday, potentially peaking at 34C (91.4F) in Essex or Norfolk, the Met Office said.
It follows a balmy weekend, with hundreds of sun-lovers flocking to beaches along the south coast and partying at Brighton’s annual Pride event.
The hottest temperature on Sunday was 30.2C (86.36F) recorded in Northolt, greater London.
However, not all of the UK will be gazing into clear blue skies – much of Scotland and Northern Ireland will start the week with some rain.
Heading back to work on Monday morning? A warm and sunny start for parts of Wales, England and Scotland. Much of Scotland and Northern Ireland will have some rain. Patchy mist and fog towards the southwest 🚶♀️🚗🚴♀️ pic.twitter.com/u0H6TLHjoO— Met Office (@metoffice) August 5, 2018
England and Wales are to stay generally dry and warmer, with the exception of possible thunderstorms across the south east on Tuesday.
The mercury will need to climb significantly if it is to come close to England’s current August record – 38.5C (101.3F) reached in Faversham, Kent, in 2003.
However, maximum temperatures are likely to dip to around the mid-20Cs mark come Wednesday.
After a hot and sunny weekend for many, there's a change on the way. Here's what the weather's got in store... pic.twitter.com/tidRsonUco— Met Office (@metoffice) August 5, 2018
Forecaster Dean Hall said there will be “quite a marked change to the feel of things” from the middle of the week as conditions turn “fresher and more changeable”.
It is likely to stay cooler throughout next weekend, he said, with “no real sign of any return of the heat that we have been seeing over the recent days”.
It comes amid a sweltering European heatwave, with holidaymakers in Portugal and Spain feeling the brunt of the sun.
The mercury is being driven higher by a hot air mass moving north from Africa, bringing dust from the Sahara Desert.
British holidaymakers abroad are being warned to avoid spending time in the sun during the hottest part of the day and to keep hydrated.
Last week local records were smashed in eight areas of Portugal, while Lisbon broke a 37-year-old record with the thermometers reaching 44C (111.2F) on Sunday.
Red health alerts for extreme heat have been issued for more than half the country, with thermometers passing 46C (114.8F) over the weekend.
The hot, dry conditions led to several Portuguese wildfires.
In Spain, heat warnings were issued for 41 of the country’s 50 provinces.
The stifling conditions played a part in the deaths of two men, one in Barcelona and the other in the southern Spanish region of Murcia, according to Spanish authorities.