UK could bask in hottest day of the year ahead of thunderstorm warnings

Dominika Jasinska sunbathes by the River Thames at the Riverside Centre near Donnington Bridge, Oxford Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Britons are set to sizzle in 30C (86F) heat in what could be the hottest day of the year so far, as forecasters warn of “intense” thunderstorms set to move in.

Some areas will be hotter than top European holiday destinations including Ibiza, St Tropez and Mykonos on Wednesday.

The mercury is expected to exceed the 29.7C (85.46F) recorded in Teddington, Middlesex on Monday, which was the hottest day of the year so far.

(PA Graphics) Credit: PA Graphics

However, the Met Office has issued yellow warnings of thunderstorms from 6pm, stretching across large parts of England, including London and the South East.

It means people could see flooding to homes and businesses, communities becoming “cut off”, power cuts and delays to public transport following heavy rainfall.

Stephen Dixon, a Met Office spokesman, told the PA news agency: “Today will be fine for many with sunshine across England and Wales before an evening of thunderstorms which will last for the next few days.

Narrowboat activity on the River Thames at Newbridge, Oxfordshire Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA

“There’s a chance some areas in London could get to 30C (86F) today which would make it the hottest day of the year.”

Wales could be as hot as 22C (71.6F) on Wednesday evening, when football fans watch their nation take on Turkey in the Euros.

Areas in central and southern England could reach the high 20s, while Northern Ireland and Scotland, which will see cloud and scattered showers, may hit the high teens.

Gardener Nicola Bantham tends to the laburnum at Seaton Delaval Hall in Northumberland Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA

Mr Dixon continued: “Overnight our weather warnings will come into force, meaning some areas will see intense thunderstorms and torrential rain.

“Parts of south-western England could see up to 30-40mm of rain falling in just a few hours on Thursday, with the warning remaining in place until midnight for large swathes of England.”

Another set of thunderstorms will then move in from Friday morning, Mr Dixon said, with “intense” showers leading to as much as 60mm of rain falling over 12 hours in the worst affected areas.

England’s much-anticipated Euro 2020 clash with Scotland at Wembley Stadium on Friday evening could be hit with bands of “heavy thundery showers”, forecasters say.

Mr Dixon said this was due to to a small, low-pressure system moving in from Europe, with warmer surface-level air meeting colder upper air, leading to thunderstorms.