It was only 12 months ago that Britain’s roads were beginning to melt in a summer heatwave, but this year has seen ‘flaming June’ so far extinguished by flash floods, burst river banks and even a tornado.
Now there are more wild weather swings in the air as conditions get a lot hotter – and a lot wetter – from next week. This weekend we can expect mostly fine weather for England and Wales, so it may be time to plan a picnic.
But from late Sunday onwards, ‘severe’ thunderstorms are set to batter parts of the UK with a risk of localised flooding, the Met Office said as it issued severe weather warnings for England, Wales and Scotland.
Thunderstorm warnings are in place in parts of the UK from 12pm on Sunday until the end of Tuesday, with up to 4in (100mm) of rain expected to fall in eastern Scotland on Monday, and up to 2in (50mm) in England and Wales.
Warm air over France, Germany and the Netherlands which has drifted north from Algeria will be drawn further to Britain and push up temperatures in South East England in what has been dubbed a ‘Saharan bubble’.
Warm air over France, Germany and the Netherlands which has drifted north from Algeria will be drawn further to Britain and push up temperatures in South East England in a ‘Saharan bubble’. Temperatures for Monday afternoon are displayed above
A woman enjoys the warm weather on Brighton seafront in East Sussex today ahead of temperatures soaring next week
Sunrise on the summer solstice at Mogshade Pond in the New Forest in Hampshire this morning
A woman cycles through Cambridge this morning while another reads her book in the morning sunshine today
A punt chauffeur gets ready for what could be a good day with lots of sun in Cambridge this morning
A woman looks at her phone as she sits on the pebble beach at Brighton seafront in East Sussex today
A good day for punting on the River Cam in Cambridge today as people enjoy the conditions on the summer solstice
The sun rises over London this morning during the summer solstice, the longest day of the year
Sunrise over a poppy field in Worcestershire on the morning of the summer solstice
Early morning sunrise at Dungeness in Kent on the longest day of the year
Over on the continent, meteorologists say temperature records could even be broken, with a 50 per cent chance of 104F (40C) in Germany next week, challenging the record high of 104.5F (40.3C) set in Kitzingen in 2015.
As for Britain, after Sunday and Monday’s storms pass, things will carry on heating up. By the middle of next week we could be in for some traditional ‘flaming June’ weather, with temperatures even hitting the 80Fs (high 20Cs).
Hundreds of jellyfish wash up on Devon beach
Hundreds of jellyfish washed up on Exmouth beach in Devon
These pictures show the moment a walker stumbled across hundreds of huge jellyfish washed up on a beach.
Ollie Keller was out in Exmouth, Devon, when he made the discovery, and he was amazed to see they ‘went on for miles’ along the beach.
Another man, Gary Qualter, spotted the jellyfish while out for a run and said that hundreds of them had washed up over a three-mile stretch.
This is the most recent sighting of the massive creatures, which have been washing up repeatedly on beaches in Devon and Cornwall in recent months.
One of three jellyfish spotted washed up in Newlyn, Cornwall
So far this month has largely been cool and wet with temperatures 5F (3C) to 7F (4C) lower than the typical June average of 63F (17C).
But by Monday – Midsummer’s Day – temperatures over the weekend will start to soar and humidity levels rise.
The Met Office warned of severe thunderstorms for most of England and Wales, with the exception of Cornwall, from Sunday into early Monday.
But later in the week, temperatures could start getting into the low-80s and even above 30C (86F) next week, particularly in southern and eastern England.
Met Office deputy chief Laura Ellam said: ‘High pressure will bring a brief spell of warmer, drier and sunnier weather this weekend.
‘However, as low pressure re-establishes later on Sunday, we’re going to see a return to the heavy rain and thunderstorms we’ve seen so far this June.
‘Rather than the recent cooler conditions, it’s going to feel much warmer and humid.
‘Whilst it will feel warmer for everyone in the UK next week, parts of southern and eastern England will see the hottest weather with temperatures here into the high 20Cs (low 80Fs), possibly exceeding 30C (86F) at the peak of the heat by Wednesday or Thursday.’
Discussing the risk of thunderstorms, she continued: ‘With this hot and humid weather there is the potential for severe thunderstorms developing, bringing the risk of torrential downpours, hail, flash flooding and gusty winds.
‘We are carefully monitoring the situation and will update any national severe weather warnings as confidence in where the greatest impacts from the thunderstorms and heavy rain increases.’
Temperatures will improve across all parts of Britain today as they get closer to the average level for June
This weekend we can expect mostly fine weather for England and Wales, so it may be time to plan a picnic
The pollen count is very high today in much of England (left), while UV levels are high for all of England and Wales (right)
An empty Woodhead reservoir in Derbyshire after last year’s dry summer (left), and the same site full to capacity today (right)
Woodhead Reservoir is compared today (right) to last year (right) The six mile long chain of reservoirs was completed in 1877
The chain of reservoirs was once the largest reservoir system in the world. It is compared last year (left) to today (right)
A a rainbow over Winchester Cathedral at sunset yesterday evening following another day of unpredictable British weather
The sun rises as revellers welcome in the summer solstice at the Stonehenge stone circle in Wiltshire this morning
Revellers attend summer solstice celebrations at the ancient Stonehenge monument in Wiltshire this morning