Britain should start preparing for its “first properly hot summer’s day”, experts have said, with temperatures climbing as high as the mid-thirties this week.
Heatwaves are also likely over the coming months, with one meteorologist hailing a turning point after a disappointing start to the year.
“There’s not been much in the way of exceptionally warm days or hot days yet this year, but that is set to change,” the Met Office’s Steven Keates said.
“We’re set to see probably a brief spell of hot weather at the end of this coming week.”
South East England may experience temperatures of 32C (89.6F) on Friday, although Mr Keates added: “It could possibly be a little hotter than that … mid-thirties are possible.”
If the prediction is accurate, Britain will be hotter than Portugal, Jamaica, Costa Rica, the Canary Islands and Cyprus.
It would also mean the hottest day of the year so far, eclipsing the record of 27.5C (81.5F) set in mid-May at Heathrow.
“We should beat that comfortably on Friday and potentially exceed it, or get very close to it, on Wednesday and Thursday as well,” Mr Keates said.
The meteorologist added that heatwaves – three consecutive days of high temperatures – were possible between June and mid-September.
“We think at the moment it will be warmer than average with an increasing likelihood of heatwaves,” he said.
“There have been no heatwaves so far this year… the greater likelihood is that it’s going to be the further south, south east, you are.”