Parts of the UK could experience record overnight temperatures this weekend as the mini-heatwave continues.
London and the south-east have been unusually hot over the past few days, and temperatures are expected to remain high until the middle of next week.
Friday was hottest August day in 17 years, with 36.4C recorded at Heathrow and Kew Gardens in London.
The hottest August day on record is 38.5C, recorded in Faversham on 10 August 2003.
The UK’s highest temperature, of 38.7C, was recorded at Cambridge Botanic Garden on 25 July last year.
Crowds of people headed for the coast on Friday, with images of packed beaches, traffic jams and full carparks shared widely on social media.
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole council’s beach check app showed 19 of its 24 beaches under red alert on Friday afternoon, and authorities urged people to avoid the areas because safe social distancing was not possible. Many more people are expected in the area over the weekend.
The Met Office has said more records may be matched or broken in the coming days with some very hot and sticky nights on the way.
Temperatures in parts of south-east England will remain above 20C, potentially reaching the record of 23.9C set in Brighton on 3 August 1990.
The Met Office has issued a level-three heat health warning for the south and south-east, meaning the public should look out for others, particularly children, older people and those in poor health.
Ishani Kar-Purkayastha, a Public Health England consultant, said: “This summer, many of us are spending more time at home due to Covid-19.
“A lot of homes can overheat, so it’s important we continue to check on older people and those with underlying health conditions, particularly if they’re living alone and may be socially isolated.”
Dan Harris, the Met Office’s deputy chief meteorologist, also said, however, that thunderstorms were on the wayand that some places may receive up to 80mm of rain in a few hours.
“We’ve issued a broad thunderstorm warning for Monday and Tuesday for all parts of the UK, since although the ingredients are there, it’s just too early to pinpoint the details of exactly where and when thunderstorms will occur,” he said.
“As such, we will be monitoring the developing signals closely and I urge people to keep a close eye on Met Office warnings and forecasts over the coming days.”
The government’s official advisory body, the Committee on Climate Change, said on 25 June that “the UK is poorly prepared for the very serious impacts of climate change, including … overheating”.