Met Office and BBC give verdict over rumours of next UK heatwave 'before end of May'

The Met Office has spoken out over reports the UK could face a scorching heatwave before the end of May. Reports from some forecasters, including WX Charts, which uses Met Desk data, show highs in the mid-twenties for 72 hours, kicking off on May 24.

It is hoped the weather could threaten the current record for hottest day of the year - but the Met Office has issued a sobering update. Met Office senior press officer Stephen Dixon told The Mirror it was too tricky to predict the weather that far ahead.

He said: "On Friday we will see temperatures ticking up in the south of England as we start to see breaks in the clouds. Temperatures could reach as high as 22C in the South East of England and as high as 25C in western and northern Scotland.

"There will be dry spells for many on Saturday, with some drier spells in the north and showers more likely in the south up to the Midlands. The highest temperatures will be felt in Scotland with 25C and 22 in southern England."

Dixon added: "Showers will reduce in frequency in the south as we move into Sunday with maximum temperatures of 21C in parts of Northern Ireland and northwest Scotland. Temperatures of 24C are also expected in the South East of England."

Today, after a rather cloudy start, with rain spreading westwards as the day progresses, the Met Office says: "The rain could be heavy at times in the north. Some drier and brighter spells possible in the south, this triggering a few thunderstorms. Feeling warm and muggy."

Looking ahead to Friday, it added: "A grey, damp start to the morning but soon brightening up with sunny spells developing. Scattered showers forming by the afternoon, some heavy with hail and thunder. Warm and humid."

Its outlook for the weekend adds: "Overnight cloud will give way to sunny spells each day. Staying mostly dry, but the risk of a few showers in places. Feeling warm in the sunshine." The BBC Weather team backs this forecast up, saying it will be "average" on the thermometer rather than heatwave-like.

It said: "Variable cloud on Saturday, with scattered thundery showers in the south. The odd spot of rain further north. Turning brighter from the south through the afternoon. Cloudy with light showers at first on Sunday but clearing skies later in the day. Monday looks to be partly cloudy with light showers in the west. Sunnier in the east. Temperatures around the seasonal average."