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UK temperatures set to match Spain as warm weather returns

Britain will sizzle this weekend as warmer weather makes a welcome return after weeks of unsettled conditions.

Temperatures will hit 28C (82.4F) in parts of England on Sunday, higher than usual for the time of year, making it as hot as Barcelona and parts of the Canary Islands.

Other parts of the country will bask in temperatures of 25C (77F) or 26C (78.8F), with Wales enjoying 24C (75.2F) sun and temperatures in Scotland hovering around the 22C (71.6F) mark.

The dry weather is good news for England's cricketers as they continue to annihilate Australia in the Ashes and for football fans who will flock to grounds around the country for the first weekend of the new season.

After a roaring start to July, with its hottest ever day on July 1 of 36.7C (98F) at Heathrow, much of the rest of the month was a damp squib.

The improved weather this weekend will be a welcome boost for those holidaying at home and parents desperate to get children outdoors during the school holidays.

Gareth Harvey, a forecaster with weather organisation MeteoGroup, said dry and sunny weather is likely across much of the country throughout the weekend, with temperatures above the average of 22C (71.6F) in England for this time of year.

He said: "Saturday is probably going be the better of the two days in general across the UK.

"Temperatures are looking at getting up to 25C (77F) or maybe 26C (78.8F) in the South East, with the London area seeing the highest temperatures.

"On Sunday it will reach up to 27C (80.6F) or 28C (82.4F), again in London, but with around 26C (78.8F) quite widely across England, especially in central and south-eastern parts of the country."

The improved weather will be good new for the organisers of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, with a largely dry day on Saturday and just the odd chance of a shower in the evening and on Sunday.

Visitors to the Bristol Balloon Fiesta on Saturday should also enjoy sunny weather, temperatures at a pleasant 23C (73.4F) and light winds, Mr Harvey said.

With temperatures expected to reach the high 20s over the weekend bookmakers have slashed their odds on August being the hottest on record in the UK.

Coral has cut its odds from 3-1 to 2-1, and the firm has seen a flurry of money being bet on this month beating previous highs.

The bookmaker also has odds of 8-1 for the UK to have the hottest year on record.

John Hill, from the firm, said: "Before the month got under way, August was well backed to be the hottest on record as punters were banking on a heatwave.

"Following another flurry of bets, we are now starting to sweat over this gamble being landed as temperatures are set to rise once again over the weekend."

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