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Mercury expected to rise even higher after hottest day of the year so far

St James’s Park in London saw a high of 26.2C (79.16F) on Tuesday.

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People enjoy the warm weather on the beach in Margate, Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA)

People enjoy the warm weather on the beach in Margate, Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA)

People enjoy the warm weather on the beach in Margate, Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA)

The temperature is expected to rise even higher on Wednesday after the UK enjoyed the hottest day of the year so far.

Sunbathers made the most of their new-found freedom following the easing of lockdown restrictions as London’s St James’s Park saw a high of 26.2C (79.16F) on Tuesday – beating 2020’s previous top temperature of 26C (78.8F) set last month.

The sunshine is set to continue for most of the UK on Wednesday, with temperatures expected to hit 28C (82.4F).

Met Office meteorologist Greg Dewhurst said: “There will be a bit of a grey, misty start for some first thing but that will quickly burn away.

“The vast majority of the UK will have a dry day with sunny spells, if not blue skies all day for some.”

He predicted the hottest day of the year so far, with temperatures in the 20s and highs of 28C in the London area.

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(PA Graphics)

(PA Graphics)

Press Association Images

(PA Graphics)

There is a risk of thunderstorms on Thursday in east and south-east England as a band of rain pushes eastwards.

Temperatures are predicted to cool from 24C (75.2F) or 25C (77F) before the rain to a fresher 17C (62.6F) to 21C (69.8F) on Friday.

Mr Dewhurst predicted a windy start to the weekend with sunshine and showers for many with the weather gradually turning drier from the south on Sunday and into bank holiday Monday.

PA