UK weather: Temperatures could hit 27C - but thunderstorms are on the way

Fine, dry and sunny weather looks likely to last through the weekend but Britons are being warned not to get used to it. 

High temperatures are expected today and over the weekend - but from Sunday, forecasters have warned the UK will experience "thundery breakdowns".

The south of England will see highs of 25C (77F) today, with the potential of temperatures reaching 26C (78.8F) on Saturday and possibly 27C (80.6F) on Sunday, according to the Met Office.

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This will beat the highest temperature of the year so far, after 24.3C (75.7F) was recorded at Heathrow and at St James's Park in London on Thursday.

Scotland and Northern Ireland are also expected to enjoy warmer springtime weather, with 22C (71.6F) forecast for Saturday in Glasgow.

Alex Burkill, a Met Office meteorologist, said the warmer weather is down to high pressure that has been over the UK for much of this week.

The forecaster warned of increased levels of UV and pollen and urged people to ensure they are protected.

Fire services for Dorset and Wiltshire as well as Hampshire and the Isle of Wight issued wildfire warnings for this weekend.

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Hampshire and Isle of Wight wildfire lead Larry Mackrell said: "Barbecues, campfires and bonfires can very easily spread out of control and drier, warmer weather increases the risk of wildfires, so it really is vital that people take extra care when visiting our beauty spots and green spaces."

By Sunday, the area of high pressure will pass to the east, making way for "more widespread and longer-lived spells of rain", the Met Office said.

Deputy chief meteorologist Tony Wisson said: "Many places will start fine and warm on Sunday, though it is likely to become cloudier from the West or South West during the day. This will be accompanied by scattered showers, which could be heavy with thunder.

"On Monday we're likely to see more widespread and longer-lived spells of rain, some of which will be heavy and thundery. This will also lead to a much cooler feel to the day."

Sky News weather producer Joanna Robinson said that along with the wind and rain, next week temperatures will drop back closer to the average for this time of year.