The tropical temperatures dazzling Britain in sunshine today are to turn to rain within 24 hours, as forecasters issue flood warnings all across the country.
Britain will push to break its 35C (95F) June temperature record this week as a 2,000-mile wide African air plume brings Europe a record heatwave – and the Met Office forecasts a hot summer after the grim start.
Highs will be hotter than Egypt and Thailand – but sweltering humidity means thunderstorms, more floods and Glastonbury facing mud.
The Met Office forecast UK highs building from 28C on Midsummer’s Day today (Mon) to nudging 30C by Thursday and potential for 34C – and possibly hotter if less cloud – on Friday and Saturday.
The whole of England and part of Scotland and Wales are covered by a thunderstorm warning for Monday, with warnings still in place for the south east on Tuesday
A 2,000-mile wide African air plume is expected to bring Europe a record heatwave – with Britain expected to break through its 35C (95F) June temperature record
MeteoGroup said there is a chance of up to 35C. Bookmakers Coral cut odds to 4/5 on breaking the 35.6C June record, set on June 29, 1957, in London, and June 28, 1976, in Southampton.
Britain will be hotter than Alexandria, Egypt, and Phuket, Thailand, both only due 30C – and smash the hottest day of the year, the 28.8C on June 2, at Weybourne, Norfolk. Even the North is due 28C.
The first Government heat health warning of the year put hospitals on alert for an increase in admissions and ordered health and social workers to prepare to make daily contact with the ill, vulnerable and elderly.
But the Met Office forecast thunderstorms daily until Tuesday warning of more floods from almost a month’s rain in a day – 50mm in England and 100m in Scotland. Showers follow from Wednesday.
Glastonbury, which begins on Wednesday, faces a roast and mud after double the usual rainfall – 91mm – soaked Somerset so far this month.
Despite a wet start, the Met Office said summer is 10 times more likely to be much-hotter-than-average than much-cooler-than-average across June, July and August.
Much-hotter-than-usual UK average temperatures are up to 50 per cent probability. Much-cooler-than-normal conditions are just a five per cent chance.
Met Office forecaster Simon Partridge said: ‘Warm air from north Africa will bring an extensive heatwave to large parts of western and central Europe, with highs into the 40s in Germany and France.
‘The UK will see highs build through the week after 28C on Monday and Tuesday. ‘By Friday and Saturday sees the chance of 34C, and possibly warmer if there is more sunshine and less cloud in the West, which is forecast to be the hottest area.
‘It will be very humid, with thunderstorms until Tuesday bringing the risk of localised flooding, and showers popping up later in the week.
‘Glastonbury has wet ground and risks thundery showers before the festival and occasional showers during the event, but will be in the region with the hottest temperatures – so pack wellies and sun cream.’
Mr Partridge also said: ‘An extensive heatwave is on the way for much of the UK for the best part of a week. ‘Heat from north Africa will cover a big area of Europe, with up to 41C in western Germany and France.’
MeteoGroup forecaster Mario Cuellar said: ’35C is a low chance and 33C is a good chance, with the hottest days on Friday and Saturday.’
The Weather Outlook forecaster Brian Gaze said: ‘One of Europe’s biggest heat plumes for many years will arrive in the UK, with temperatures possibly over 30C early in the week, with the hottest conditions later in the week.
‘But thunderstorms are expected to be real firecrackers, with flooding expected. Glastonbury risks quagmire conditions.’
Ex-BBC and Met Office forecaster John Hammond of weathertrending said: ‘Blistering heat from near-40C temperatures in Europe look like wafting our way.’
The Met Office three-month forecast said: ‘For June-August as a whole, the probability UK average temperatures will fall into the warmest of our five categories is 45-50 per cent. The coldest category is five per cent.
‘The probability of higher-than-average pressure, associated with warmer-than-average conditions, is increased by North Atlantic sea surface temperature patterns. These are similar to, but not as marked, as last year.’
The Met Office 30-day outlook said: ‘Temperatures will continue to feel warm. Temperatures during July 6-20 are likely to be slightly above average.’