The UK stands braced its "hottest day of the year so far" with temperatures of up to 21C as an early heatwave has seen record breaking temperatures in Europe.
Parts of the continent are currently experiencing record breaking conditions, with Spain and Portugal smashing temperature records for April, officials said last week, with a sweltering 38.8C recorded in Spain's southern city of Cordoba on Thursday (April 27) beating the previous record of 38.6C in the eastern city of Elche.
In neighbouring Portugal, temperatures in the central town of Mora reached 36.9C on Thursday, breaking the record of 36C set in April 1945 in the northeastern town of Pinhao, the weather agency IPMA said.
READ MORE: 'Hottest day of year' coming as scorching weather from 40C Spain blasts Brits
Now, new long range weather maps appear to show May 17 as the day the UK will experience the highest temperatures this month, with highs of 21C expected.
A Netweather forecaster said: "Blocking high pressure looks less likely than earlier this spring, with the jet stream back close to the UK or just to the north, with low pressure more likely to be control close to the north or west much of the time, but with occasional spells of higher pressure, especially later in the month.
"Overall, it's looking like a warmer than average month, perhaps with a brief early hot spell later in the month. Rainfall likely to be around average overall, but perhaps quite wet in the northwest, drier in the southeast."
The Met Office's forecast for the upcoming bank holiday weekend, prompted by the Coronation of King Charles III, is a mixture of "brighter conditions and showers", with temperatures "above average".
Chris Almond, deputy chief meteorologist at the Met Office, said: "By Friday temperatures will have increased so that we will see values around 18-21C across parts of the UK."
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He added: "The coming bank holiday weekend itself will be a mixture of brighter conditions and showers. These showers will tend to be heaviest and most frequent in the west on Saturday.
"On Sunday most locations can expect to see at least some showers, whereas on the bank holiday Monday the focus for showers is more likely to be the east, with drier conditions elsewhere."
The Met Office suggested that 2023 will be the 10th successive year that temperatures have reached at least 1C above pre-industrial levels.
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