Britain is set to sizzle on warmest day of the year so far in 24C heat

Get the barbecue out! Britain is set to sizzle on warmest day of the year so far in 24C heat before thunderstorms and heavy rain hit tonight

  • Widespread sunshine is set to be present from the north of Scotland to the south of England on Saturday
  • Met Office meteorologist Aidan McGivern said it could be ’16-19C widely – with 24C possible in the South East’
  • UK’s hottest day so far this year was 23.4C (74.12F) recorded on April 15, recorded in St James’s Park, London
  • There is also a warning of high pollen levels in the UK, which could cause allergy sufferers to sneeze a lot more

Britain is set to sizzle with temperatures reaching up to 24C (75F) on the warmest day of the year so far before thunderstorms and heavy rain hit tonight.

Widespread sunshine is set to be present from the north of Scotland to the south of England on Saturday, which would be ideal for a barbecue, with just some patchy cloud in the North and West. 

Met Office meteorologist Aidan McGivern said it could be ’16-19C (61-66F) widely – with 24C (75F) the possible high in the South East’.

The UK’s hottest day so far this year was on April 15, recorded in St James’s Park, London, where the mercury reached 23.4C (74.12F). 

However, the weather service warned the warm air is also likely to spark a few heavy showers.

Widespread sunshine is set to be present from the north of Scotland to the south of England on Saturday, with just some patchy cloud in the North and West. Pictured: Four people take a dip at Branksome Beach in Dorset this morning

The UK’s hottest day so far this year was on April 15, recorded in St James’s Park, London, where the mercury reached 23.4C (74.12F). Pictured: a swimmer out early enjoying the sunshine at Branksome Beach in Dorset

The Met Office forecast parts of the South East to reach top temperatures for the week of 25C-27C (77-81F). Spokesman Richard Miles said ‘at the moment Tuesday looks like being the warmest day of the week’ (map showing temperatures today)

Mr McGivern said: ‘By Saturday evening, those showers would be making an appearance into the South West, spreading quite widely into southern parts of England and south Wales.

‘In some places, it would just be a spell of rain but for central and southern England and the south coast there is the risk of some heavy downpours, thunderstorms and frequent lightning.’

Sunday is looking like another warm day, with air from North Africa bringing above-average temperatures for May to most places in the UK over the next week, but it will be broken up with potentially heavy or thundery showers.

The Met Office forecast parts of the South East to reach top temperatures for the week of 25C-27C (77-81F). Spokesman Richard Miles said ‘at the moment Tuesday looks like being the warmest day of the week’.

Throughout the week, some people will enjoy warm sunny spells but heavy showers are set to move across the whole of the country, particularly in the North and West.

These might be thundery at times in parts of the south, central England and south-west Scotland.

Sunday is looking like another warm day, with air from North Africa bringing above-average temperatures for May to most places in the UK over the next week, but it will be broken up with potentially heavy or thundery showers. Pictured: two joggers on Branksome Beach in Dorset today

However, the Met Office warned that a sun-kissed Saturday, which would be ideal for a barbecue, could be followed by heavy rain and thunderstorms. Pictured: The sunrise at Scarborough in Yorkshire today

There is also a warning of high pollen levels in the UK by the Met Office which could cause allergy sufferers to sneeze a lot more in the coming week. Pictured: The sunrise on Glastonbury Tor, Somerset, early this morning

Sean Henry’s Couple sculpture at Newbiggin-by-the-Sea is seen on the Northumberland coast during sunrise today. Temperatures are warming up for the weekend as most of Britain can expect to be bathed in sunshine

Asthma sufferers given a warning over pollen 

Rising pollen levels this weekend could leave people with asthma at risk of life-threatening asthma attacks, a charity has warned.

Asthma and Lung UK said more than three million people in the UK have lung conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and are at risk of attacks or flare-ups.

The Met Office is predicting high pollen levels across most of England and Wales, with medium levels in other parts of the UK.

Pollen can trigger symptoms such as a tight chest, wheezing and breathlessness in more than half of people living with asthma (59%) and more than a quarter of those living with COPD, according to research from the charity.

Allergies can cause airways to tighten up and a build-up of sticky mucus, making it harder to breathe.

Met Office chief meteorologist Andy Page said: ‘The plume of warm air we have been expecting from the south will bring higher temperatures across the whole country over the next week.

‘However, it looks like the effects from the Atlantic lows will prevent sustained high pressure building from the east.

‘This means that while we might see some warm – and in places very warm – days, overall the next week will feel more like what we would expect of a warm spell in May, with some heavy showers around, rather than hot summery weather.’

There is also a warning of high pollen levels in the UK by the Met Office which could cause allergy sufferers to sneeze a lot more in the coming week.

The forecaster explained: ‘Hay fever is the most common name for pollen allergy and is most commonly caused by grass pollens, although other pollens can also trigger the symptoms. The symptoms are caused when immune system reacts to pollen in the body to produce histamine and other chemicals.

‘Around two in every ten people have this allergy and it is thought that more than 10 million people in Britain suffer with hay fever.’

Dr Samantha Walker, director of research and policy at Asthma UK, previously said: ‘If you have asthma you should check pollen and air pollution forecasts in your local area, make sure you carry your reliever inhaler, and know what to do if your symptoms get worse.

‘If you also have hay fever it’s important to use a steroid nasal spray every day together with non-drowsy antihistamine tablets as needed.’

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