The UK’s mini-heatwave has smashed records for the year with parts of the country experiencing temperatures nearing 30C.
Northolt in west London peaked at 28.3% on Wednesday afternoon, surpassing Tuesday’s record of 26.1C in Cardiff, and meaning the UK recorded its third successive warmest day of 2021.
Parts of Surrey and Kent also saw temperatures of between 27 and 28C, while the village of Hawarden in Flintshire reached 26.5C to become Wales’ own warmest day of the year.
Scotland also recorded its hottest days of 2021 with Achnagart reaching 25.4C, while the 23.3C in Ballywatticock, Northern Ireland, matched its previous warmest day of the year.
But areas in south-west England and south Wales, which had enjoyed sunny and warm weather in recent days, experienced some heavy showers during the afternoon.
The Met Office said the rain was likely to move northwards through the day and into the evening with heavy and potentially thundery showers expected.
Met Office meteorologist Greg Dewhurst told the PA news agency temperatures will have peaked on Wednesday, but despite the risk of more showers the rest of the week would “still be on the warm side”.
He said: “Temperatures on Thursday are expected to be around 26 to 27C across south-east England and East Anglia.
“And then through the rest of the week we’ll generally see a mixture of sunny spells and a few showers, and temperatures around 24 to 25C.
“So it’s not quite as hot for the rest of the week compared to the maximum temperatures on Wednesday, but still staying above average for this time of year.”
The warm weather has been a welcome break for people following a washout May, which brought heavy downpours and prolonged spells of rain for much of the UK.
Wales experienced the wettest May since records began in 1862, with 245mm of rainfall, topping the previous record of 184mm set in 1967, according to the Met Office.
The UK has seen its fourth highest amount of rainfall on record for the month, with an average of 120mm.
Meanwhile, England had its fifth wettest May on record, and its wettest since 1967, with 111mm of rain.