Heatwave will last into weekend
The unseasonably fine weather has sent temperatures soaring again, making the UK hotter than parts of Europe and Africa.
The mercury rocketed to 28C (82.4F) in Bournemouth, making it the hottest day of the year and putting Barcelona in the shade as the Spanish city could only manage 25.3C (77.5F).
The warm weather is set to continue over the weekend, with temperatures only falling significantly in the middle of next week, according to MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association.
Train companies are gearing up for an increase in passengers of up to 25% in some parts of the country this weekend as hundreds of thousands of sun-seekers head to seaside resorts and beauty spots.
Kinlochewe in north-west Scotland peaked at 27.7C (81.9F) and at Heathrow Airport, west London, temperatures reached 25.7C (78.3F).
In comparison, Athens in Greece reached 24C (75.2F) while Casablanca in Morocco could only manage 22C (71.6F), though Europe is also experiencing above-average temperatures.
Easterly winds from the continent and a high pressure system over the Northern Isles have caused temperatures to reach almost 10C higher than the average for this time of year. The May average for London is 17C (62.6F), and 20.4C (68.7F) in June.
Average maximum temperatures for England in May are 14C to 17C (57.2F to 62.6F), while Scotland would normally be 13C to 15C (55.4F to 59F).
Forecaster Sally Webb said: "Most places are still warm and hot, with temperatures over the seasonal average. On the North Sea coast it is a bit cooler. Parts of Yorkshire have struggled to reach 16C (60.8F) and Boulmer in Northumberland has only reached 14.8C (58.6F) today.
"Most of the UK will be sunny and very warm on Saturday, but showers could reach the end of Cornwall by late afternoon. Sunday will continue to be dry and sunny, although there is a chance of it being cloudier. There might also be showers in the South West in areas like Devon and South Wales."