UK told to prepare for 'big and historic' heatwave before Saharan scorcher within days

The UK has been handed the exact dates of its next heatwave as a Saharan plume hits England - with the prospect of a "very big" and "historic" heatwave this summer. Britain could be in line for a sizzling, record-breaking heatwave over the summer, Exacta Weather's James Madden said.

Mr Madden explained: "The start of the meteorological summer does now look favourably warm to hot at times during June, with the potential for a very BIG and maybe even historical heatwave within this same period (more favourable for the bigger heatwave/heat dome scenario in July)."

Before that date, the UK faces its next heatwave before the end of May. The mercury will once again begin to climb from Sunday May 19 to Tuesday May 21 before it peaks between May 24 and May 26, with highs in the mid-twenties as a new hottest day of the year is recorded.

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Most of the country will bask in sunshine in the twenties as the 25C hottest day of the year record is threatened. Looking ahead from May 20 to May 29, the Met Office forecast said: "The week should start on a reasonable note in many areas, with a fair amount of dry and bright weather, especially in southern parts of the UK.

"Further north and west there will always be more in the way of cloud with a risk of some showers or spells of rain at times. Through the rest of the period it looks likely that fairly typical conditions will dominate across all parts, with northern and western areas often most at risk of outbreaks of rain, while further south and east will see the best of the drier and brighter interludes.

"There is a risk of showers even here though which at this time of year are prone to being heavy with occasional thunder. Temperatures will probably remain a little above average." The BBC Weather team says Monday May 27 marks a shift towards conditions "warmer".

It states: "Some of them tend to keep areas of low pressure south of the UK. High pressure is more likely to lie over continental Central Europe and extend as far as Scandinavia. The latter could provide slightly drier and calmer conditions at times, especially in northern and eastern areas."