BRITS will enjoy sunshine and highs of 23C today as the UK enjoys a three-day mini heatwave this weekend.
A plume of sweltering air from the Atlantic Azores Islands will see the mercury rise to more than 10C above average from today, forecasters said.
The Met Office said it would be mainly dry with sunny spells – especially in the south.
London and Southampton are expected to see highs of 23C, while Cardiff and Exeter will peak at 21C.
Some scattered showers are possible, mainly over hills of Scotland and northern England.
In the evening, forecasters say areas of cloud could develop over eastern, southern and central parts.
Some mist or fog patches are also possible in Northern Ireland.
Warm temperatures are expected to continue into Sunday with plenty of sunshine in the north and west.
But forecasters have warned sun-lovers to make the most of the summer sun, with torrential downpours and thunder predicted to return mid-week.
Met Office meteorologist Nicola Maxey said: “We have high pressure building this weekend and although there will be the risk of the odd shower in central and northern parts of the country there will be plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures as air comes up from the Azores.
“We expect the good weather to hold out this weekend and through Monday.”
Fine weather this weekend will be driven by a huge region of high pressure stretching from the Azores Islands, off the coast of Portugal, to northern Europe, with London and the southeast expected to reap the benefits of the warm winds.
But Ms Maxey warned there were signs of a change next week to something “more unsettled”.
She added: “High pressure starts to break down and there will be the risk of showers and some of these could be thundery in places.
“As we go through the rest of the month there are indications that low pressure will be in control of the weather.”
A nationwide split will see southern Britain hold on to the warmest weather next week as it turns cooler and more unsettled further north.
Claire Kennedy-Edwards, senior meteorologist for The Weather Company, said: “It is a much more settled outlook across the UK with plenty of sunshine and dry conditions.
“West will be best over the weekend, a northerly flow will mean the warmest temperatures will be over eastern Scotland and south-west England.
“Next week the north-west, south-east split returns bringing plenty of dry warm weather over the south and south-east of the UK.
“There will be some showers to the north-west and temperatures will be around average to slightly above.”
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And if you’re not sure what the weather will be like for the next month, look no further than to July 15.
Legend has it that the conditions on St Swithin’s Day will set the tone for the weeks leading up to September.
The myth comes from the rhyme that says: “St Swithin’s Day, if it does rain
Full forty days, it will remain
St Swithin’s Day, if it be fair
For forty days, t’will rain no more”
A beachgoer enjoys the warm weather in Brighton last week[/caption]