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Thermometers could hit a blistering 93F (34C) on Thursday with sun-lovers promised barbecue weather for weeks to come.
However, a burst of violent thunderstorms this weekend threatens torrential downpours, lightning strikes and even tornadoes.
Temperatures will then rocket through the rest of July and beyond as warm, muggy air from the coast of Spain turns up the thermostat.
Exacta Weather forecaster James Madden said: “Temperatures are likely to hover around the low- to high-20Cs through the rest this month.
“We are then looking at highs in the 20Cs during the first half of August, and although it might not be quite as hot as we have seen over the past week, it is still looking warm.
“On current indications we expect high temperatures to persist through the start of next month, although there may be periods where it is cloudier and muggier.”
The Met Office has extended its first ever extreme heat warning until Friday with a separate level-3 heat health alert also in force.
The warning, issued with Public Health England (PHE), urges older people and those with health conditions to take extra care.
Scorching forecasts have prompted bookies to slash the odds on July turning out to be the hottest ever.
Ladbrokes is offering 10/11 from 5/4 on this month smashing records while Coral is odds on for the UK’s hottest summer yet.
Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: “With even more scorching temperatures on the way, it’s now looking more likely than ever that this goes down as a record-breaking hot July.”
Coral’s Harry Aitkenhead added: “The sweltering temperatures this week have pushed our odds towards now making this summer odds on to be the UK’s hottest ever.
“We also make it odds on that the record for the UK’s hottest ever temperature tumbles during 2021, with thermometers sure to be rising throughout the remainder of the summer.”
Huge amounts of energy ploughed into the atmosphere during the heatwave threatens to ignite a weekend thunder-bomb.
Southern Britain is on alert for inches of rain and flash flooding with some regions at risk of being stranded.
The Met Office has issued a rain warning for Saturday and Sunday while the Environment Agency has put out a cluster of flood alerts.
Stormy outbreaks are expected to kick off on Thursday before gathering strength into the weekend.
These will be super-charged by a huge low-pressure system laden with warm moist air about to swing in from the Bay of Biscay.
Jim Dale, meteorologist for British Weather Services, warned the weather is about to ‘go bang’.
While thunderstorms are difficult to predict precisely, people should take care while outdoors with heavy rain, lightning and even tornados possible, he added.
He said: “This hot weather is going to go bang, and we expect thunderstorms to start sporadically on Thursday before becoming more prominent into the weekend.
“These will be driven by an area of low pressure coming in from the Bay of Biscay which will bring warm, moist air into the country.
“There is also a lot of energy being put into the atmosphere by this hot weather.
“The combination of both these factors means we could see some powerful thunderstorms through the next few days.
“If these do happen, there will be a risk of very heavy rain, lighting and even some tornado activity in parts of the country.
“Walkers, climbers and people in open areas should be careful as these events can be dangerous.
Mr Madden added: “We are expecting a period of very large downpours driven by thundery weather for a cluster of days during this hot weather.
“This will bring the risk of flash flooding and will bring a brief halt to the above-average amounts of sunshine we have seen this month.”
The thrust of the storms is likely to be felt overnight Friday and through the weekend, Mr Dale said adding that temperatures will remain high across the country through the coming days and after the weekend
“It is going to stay relatively warm, if still unstable in terms of thunderstorms, after the weekend,” he said.
Weather models show temperatures hitting the high-20Cs through the coming days before dipping into the low- to mid-20Cs next week.
A Weather Channel (IBM) senior meteorologist said: “There will be more uncomfortable nights ahead across central and western Britain as the heatwave continues this week.
“Overnight minimums will be no lower than 18C to 19C across parts of southwestern UK on Wednesday and Thursday night– around 7C to 8C above normal.
“High temperatures will again approach 30C.”
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