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UK weather: Nation to sizzle in temperatures 'hotter than Caribbean' this weekend
5 August 2020, 15:11
An heatwave could hit the UK from Thursday with temperatures expected to soar to 37C by the end of the week.
Parts of the country will be hotter than top holiday destinations in the Caribbean, including the Bahamas, Jamaica and Barbados.
The sweltering temperatures are expected to continue until Sunday and are the result of hot air moving in from southern Europe.
It means Britain could pass the threshold for a heatwave, which requires three days of temperatures over 25C across most of the nation and 28C in London.
Temperatures in London and the south east on Friday may even surpass the 37.8C recorded in Heathrow on July 31 - the hottest day of the year so far, and the UK's third warmest ever.
Met Office forecaster Oli Claydon said: "There's a strong likelihood London and the south east could see a heatwave this week, with four or even five consecutive days of incredibly warm temperatures reaching a high of 37C on Friday.
"It is the result of southerly winds moving from Europe and parts of northern Africa, which will push the temperatures up."
Thursday is expected to begin overcast for most of the country, but will be a dry day for all, with the sun appearing through the clouds by the afternoon and temperatures pushing to 30C (86F) in the capital.
However, rain is expected in the north west of Scotland and Northern Ireland on Friday, with highs of 22C.
Wales and the north and south-west of England will be sunny, with temperatures reaching around 25C.
Mr Claydon added: "Saturday will likely be another hot day for southern and central parts of the UK, with heatwave conditions potentially continuing in parts of southern and south-east England.
"Sunday should be the last of the heatwave conditions, before cold air moves in overnight leading to some thundery showers on Monday."
It comes as thousands of families have opted for staycations this year - after both Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock warning this week of a second wave of Covid-19 infections across Europe.
UK holiday resorts have reported an upturn in bookings, with some even close to selling out during next year's season.
Last month, new social distancing measures were introduced in England allowing groups of up to six people to meet and exercise outdoors together as long as they observe social distancing rules, such as staying two metres apart.
On the hot weekend following this, beaches across the country were packed as sunbathers turned out in their thousands to bask in the hot weather.
On Bournemouth beach in Dorset, pictures and videos show large groups of people seemingly disregarding social distancing measures put in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
In Southend-on-Sea in Essex, families and friends were seen gathering along a crowded beach despite the public being reminded to continue following social distancing rules following the relaxation of lockdown restrictions.
A major incident was declared in Bournemouth after thousands of people swamped the beach on the hottest day of the year.
The local authority, BCP council, covers Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. They instigated a multi-agency emergency response to tackle the issues caused by people descending on the beach.
There were reports of drug-taking, fights, people using residents' gardens as toilets, abuse of refuse collectors, as well as more widespread issues of overcrowding.
Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole council leader Vikki Slade told LBC News today: "People on the beach were only part of the problem. It was the behaviour of those people.
"They used people's gardens as toilets and car parks, blocking their access and using roundabouts to park cars.
"The amount of litter they have taken off the beach this morning is just awful, the impact that has on our local environment is dreadful.
"We also saw antisocial behaviour from some people, violence, fights, drug-taking - that's not welcome at all.
"That's why we needed all the other agencies to step in and help us collectively."