Heatwaves are set to be declared across Britain as a three-day spell with temperatures as hot as 86F is underway this week.
Britons, who have been deprived of long sunny spells this summer, are descending upon the nation’s outdoor spaces as the country, at last, gears up for a period of balmy weather.
But it will be too late for many children to fully enjoy, with millions set to return to school today after a damp and dreary staycation summer.
Despite the official meteorological end of summer, the warm weather is expected to last for several days, with the mercury hovering around the low 80s in many parts of the country.
But the Met Office said it is still ‘touch and go’ whether some areas will tip into official heatwaves.
Temperatures are predicted to reach highs of 82.4F in London on Monday and rise to 84.2F on Tuesday with some parts of the country seeing highs of 86F making it hotter than Bermuda.
Northern areas are also expected to see an increase, with Liverpool seeing highs of 73.4F on Monday and 80.6F on Tuesday.
The highest temperature recorded on Sunday was 80.8F at Wiggonholt, west Sussex, according to provisional data from the Met Office.
The warm weather follows the official end of summer, from a meteorological point of view, which is considered to be August 31.
Heatwaves are set to be declared across Britain as a three-day spell with temperatures as hot as 86F is underway this week
Britons, who have been deprived of long sunny spells this summer, are descending upon the nation’s outdoor spaces as the country, at last, gears up for a period of balmy weather. Pictured: people enjoy the warm weather in Bournemouth, Dorset
Families and couples are pictured enjoying the warm weather and sunshine on Bournemouth Beach in Dorset this afternoon
The beach was busy in Southend-on-Sea in Essex as sunseekers flocked to the coast to enjoy the warm weather this afternoon
It comes as children across the country return to classrooms after the summer break. Many schools in England and Wales started again last week and pupils in Scotland and Northern Ireland are already back.
The Met Office said the warm spell is expected to last until Wednesday, and predictions show some areas are on the ‘borderline’ of experiencing an official heatwave.
A location meets the UK heatwave threshold when it records a period of at least three consecutive days with daily maximum temperature levels which vary across the country.
These include 77F for central England and Wales – where it has been forecast the threshold could be exceeded – and 82.4F for London and the South East.
Met Office spokesman Stephen Dixon said: ‘It’s not uncommon for the UK to get warm spells heading into early September.
‘There’s a chance of some areas reaching heatwave criteria, but that is fairly borderline and the breakdown that is happening on Wednesday will subdue the temperatures as well.
‘So it will be touch and go for some places whether a heatwave is officially in the forecast.’
He added: ‘Heading into Tuesday, that warmth spreads further north across the country, bringing a fine and dry day for most with that warm weather extending across the UK.’
Mr Dixon said that, although good conditions will last until Wednesday, ‘rain and instability’ will follow, leading to possible thunderstorms in south-west England.
The mercury is expected to exceed the average for September, which is 64.4F in the UK.
The blast of heat comes after figures from the Met Office showed Southern England experienced its third dullest August since records began.
The region received only 129 hours of sunshine last month compared to its usual average of 192.5 hours. Only 2008 and 1950 were worse in terms of hours of sunshine.
It is believed that the fall-out from Hurricane Ida – which has torn across southern states in the US – will force a change in the UK after weeks of dull grey skies and rain caused by high pressure.
The Met Office said the warm spell is expected to last until Wednesday, and predictions show some areas are on the ‘borderline’ of experiencing an official heatwave. Pictured: People enjoy the warm weather at Bournemout beach in Dorset
The blast of heat comes after figures from the Met Office showed Southern England experienced its third dullest August since records began. Pictured: families enjoy a sunny day out in the warm weather at Bournemouth Beach in Dorset this afternoon
Pictured: a couple enjoy the warm weather with a view while sat in deck chairs on Bournemouth Pier in Dorset
People enjoy sun in Dorset as the UK sees one final blast of summer boosted by a plume of warm air from the Mediterranean
A paddle boarder enjoys the return of summer weather as the sun begins to shine in Portobello in Edinburgh
Annie Shuttleworth, a Met Office forecaster said: ‘We are expecting temperatures to rise at the beginning of the new week.
‘Despite a cloudy start to Monday, 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.
‘This air will start to push through the country on Tuesday and Wednesday, dragging temperatures as high as 29C (84.2F) for parts of the south-east while Scotland and Northern Ireland will also move into the mid-twenties.
‘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 18C (64.4F) during the evening.’
Ms Shuttleworth said this meant a ‘decent chance’ of an official heatwave for parts of central England and eastern Wales, where the temperature threshold needed over three days is 77F (25C).
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.
A spokesman 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.’
Meteorologists predicts that while Hurricane Ida won’t be directly felt in the UK, the weather system’s force would have an impact on the weather we will experience.
Earlier this week, Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge told The Sun: ‘What these hurricanes do is bring warm humid air into the North Atlantic, which can have the effect of pepping up weather systems already in place.
‘Although we’re not going to see the effects directly, it’ll invigorate the jet stream.’
‘London and the south east are likely to benefit the most, but the majority of the country will hopefully see temperatures in the mid-20s.
‘I have to say there is some uncertainty about how hot it will be, and it won’t be the case for the whole country.’
It comes after August went down as the third cloudiest month on record for Southern England after the region received only 129 hours of sunshine.
Meanwhile East Anglia also experienced the third cloudiest August on record with the area seeing just 127.2 hours of daylight compared to the average 195.7 hours usually seen during the month.
For the UK overall – August was the 12th dullest on record with 127.4 hours of sunshine – the figure is 78 per cent of the 163 hours of sun usually seen.
A bride and groom enjoy a boat trip during the hot weather in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire
A man applies sun lotion on his skin as the sun arrives to Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire
People lies on the beach and take in the sea air as hundreds across the country enjoy warm weather after weeks of rain
A group of friends enjoy the sun in St James’s Park, London, as the beginning of September brings with it a blast of sun
A group pf people enjoy a boat ride in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, Britain prepares to receive one final blast of summer
People exercise during a sunny morning in St Nicholas’ Park in Warwick as the country sees the return of sizzling temperatures
A woman relaxes in the sun at St James’s Park in London as parts of the UK prepare for a blast of the summer weather
Beach-goers enjoy the sun censed in Brighton this morning as temperatures begin to rise across the south of England
People punt and paddleboard past King’s College along the River Cam in Cambridge as the country enjoys the return of summer
A rower makes their way along the River Avon during a sunny morning in Warwick as the country prepares for a blast of summer to return
A paddle boarder enjoys the sun on the River Avon in Warwick as the country welcomes back rising mercury levels
The warm weather will see temperatures soar to 75F across the south of England before rising to a sizzling 82F by Tuesday
High pressure will shift to the south east of the UK over the coming days and this will see temperatures as a result
Despite the gloomy weather, Tyndrum in Stirling, Scotland, recorded the highest temperature in the UK so far this month after it hit 80.2F on August 25.
Last month, the south of England saw one of the dullest and wettest summers in ten years while the north of England and Scotland experienced unusually warmer temperatures and its driest summer since 1869.
The capital and central England, which saw temperatures that were only 0.25C higher than the long-term average, also saw the regions flooded after it was hit by heavy rain and thunderstorms.
Data also showed the City of London saw 117 per cent of its usual August rainfall by August 20.
Heavy rain and hail has already caused ‘significant problems’ for harvests, according to the National Farmers Union (NFU).
A spokesperson for the union said this year’s harvest was delayed due to cold spring temperatures, but it’s too early to say how much profits will be impacted and whether consumers could see a rise in food prices.
They said: ‘The localised heavy rain and hail has caused significant problems in certain areas.
‘It’s a mixed picture because for many areas they just haven’t had many clear dry days in a row to harvest, so things have been a bit ‘stop-start’ with harvesting.
‘Where they have been harvesting, grain has often had to be dried because the better weather hasn’t lasted long enough to get moisture levels down to where they need to be.
‘The problems will grow if the unsettled weather continues because it will start to impact on the quality of the grain if it goes on too long, especially for crops like milling wheat.’