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After the six-week summer holidays were marred by heavy cloud and disappointing temperatures, the mercury is set to rocket in coming days to a sweltering 86F (30C). The mini-heatwave will last until at least Wednesday prompting a dash to the seaside for people who have waited until the schools return before taking a staycation.
Yesterday saw millions taking advantage of the sunshine, with beaches packed and youngsters taking a last chance to build sandcastles. Day-trippers took to the water, while some actually got wet.
Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo even posted a picture on Instagram asking: “Who says Manchester has no sun?”
But the blast of barbecue weather will come to an abrupt halt with thunderstorms likely for the latter part of the week.
Met Office forecaster Annie Shuttleworth said: “We are expecting temperatures to rise at the beginning of the new week.” Despite a cloudy start today “conditions will be clear and bright with hot temperatures for large parts of England and eastern Wales as the result of continental air moving in from the south”.
She said: “This air will start to push through the country on Tuesday and Wednesday, dragging temperatures as high as 84F for parts of the South-east while Scotland and Northern Ireland will also move into the mid-20s.
“It’s going to be very warm for the time of year and could even be rather uncomfortable for people trying to sleep at night, with temperatures remaining at around 64F during the evening.”
This meant a “decent chance” of an official heatwave for parts of central England and eastern Wales, if the temperature threshold is met for at least three days.
However, she warned of an area of low pressure moving in from the west on Wednesday afternoon, bringing with it grey and wet conditions for much of the UK on Thursday.
Thunderstorms are also expected in the second half of the week to conclude the hot spell.
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To be a heatwave the temperature for at least three consecutive days must be above a daily maximum average calculated by the Met Office according to the location.
This is 77F for Wales and 82F for London. Nationwide the mercury is expected to exceed the average for September, which is 64F.
Bookmaker Coral cut odds on a record hot September in the UK from 2-1 to 4-5. It said: “Summer may not be over just yet and with a mini-heatwave on its way, the chances of this month ending as a record hot September have increased significantly.”
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