Britain is preparing to bask in what could be the hottest day of the year so far, prompting thousands to flock to the coastline. After the coldest Easter on record and a disappointing start to Spring, England and Wales are set to enjoy a scorching May Bank Holiday.
The sunshine has gradually increased over the weekend and temperatures are expected to peak at 22C in many areas on Monday. Weather experts said there is a chance the temperature could climb higher, beating this year's April 25 record of 23C (73F).
But Scotland and Northern Ireland have not enjoyed the same highs as England and Wales this weekend, and on Monday are expected to hit only 17C along with spells of cloud and rain. Billy Payne, a forecaster for MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "It doesn't matter where you are in England and Wales today, it's going to be lovely.
"It's going to be at least 20C in most places and up to 22C in some areas in East Anglia, London, Midlands and Lincolnshire. There's a chance it may beat our predictions and end up being the hottest day of the year so far. There will be a risk of some showers but I don't want to spoil the message that it's going to be a very sunny day."
However he warned those planning a beach break to be prepared for some fog during some parts of the morning and afternoon along the coastline. This year's expected sunny Bank Holiday will be a big improvement on last year, which saw rain and a temperature high of 16C (60.8F) at Exeter Airport.
On Saturday temperatures reached 18C in Lincolnshire and 18.3C in Cambridge before climbing to 20.9C at Hol Beach in Lincolnshire and Aberdeenshire on Sunday. But the upward trend ends today, with temperatures expected to fall tomorrow before turning cloudy and unsettled on Wednesday.