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Britain is gearing up for thermometers to rocket towards 30C this weekend boosting hopes this year will bring one of the hottest summers on record. High pressure sweeping across the Continent later this week will drag a tropical plume in from France, Italy and Belgium. However, Britons will be dodging thunder and torrential downpours before the sun blazes back at the weekend.
James Madden, forecaster for Exacta Weather, said: “There is the potential for the arrival of a very hot spell of weather during the second part of May.
“However, in the meantime, there is a risk of widespread showers and cloud although temperatures will remain in the mid-20Cs.
“Later in the month, these could rise higher, and there is every chance we could see a very warm spell of summery weather during the final part of the meteorological spring.”
Temperatures will rise through the coming days before the arrival of high pressure at the weekend whacks the thermostat up to max.
However, low pressure from the Atlantic will bring outbreaks of rain and grey skies across parts of the UK.
Jim Dale, meteorologist for British Weather Services, said: “This week will be unsettled at times before high pressure builds later, and into the weekend.
“This is when we see the transition from warm to very warm or even hot.
“We expect temperatures in the high teens to the low-20Cs through the coming days, before the end of the week and the weekend brings the chance of something higher.
“But most of the country will be warm through the next few days.”
The hot weather will be driven by warm air coming in from the Continent around a ridge of high pressure, he said.
He added: “As the week unwinds, high pressure starts to pick up a Continental air flow.
“This will start to come in from the south and the southeast, and most of the country will start to feel the effects of this warmth by the end of the week.
“It will be cooler in Scotland, but elsewhere, by the weekend we expect to see temperatures of around 24C, 25C, or 26C.”
High pressure responsible for the fine weather this weekend will weaken through the coming days before the next system builds.
Low pressure from the Atlantic will nudge into Britain in its place over the next few days bringing thundery outbreaks.
Netweather forecaster Ian Simpson said: “Through this coming week, we will see the weather turn somewhat more unsettled, with low pressure systems moving to the north of Scotland and mainly westerly winds.
“High pressure looks likely to return by next weekend.”
Swathes of the country, while warm, can expect grey skies and showers this week before a more volatile picture on Friday, he added.
He said: “Thursday looks set to be cloudy with outbreaks of rain spreading south-eastwards across Britain, and these will be heaviest and most frequent over western Scotland and Northern Ireland.
“Despite this, it will remain quite warm in the east and south-east of England, with highs of 17C to 20C.
“Rain will clear on Friday leaving cooler weather with north-westerly winds and sunshine and showers, and these showers will be heavy and locally thundery in the east.”
The Met Office predicts largely dry and warm weather from Friday into the weekend and the second half of May.
A spokesman said: “We expect dry weather for most bringing variable cloud and sunny spells to many areas.
“The settled weather will come to dominate through the second half of the period, with any rain confined to far western and northern areas.
“Temperatures are likely to rise above average through the first few days.”
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