England fans on tenterhooks about Saturday’s World Cup match will have to battle heat as well as their nerves, with the mercury set to hit 33C in the afternoon.
As millions assemble to cheer on the Three Lions as they take on Sweden, temperatures could be the hottest of the year so far.
Porthmadog in Wales is the current record holder, reaching 33C exactly on June 28, but this weekend the thermometer could edge just above it.
Meanwhile, the continuing heatwave is causing problems for water companies, which are urging customers to curb their use to prevent potential hosepipe bans.
United Utilities – which serves the North West – said it “urgently needed help and support” to stop a ban from coming into force, while a hosepipe ban is into its second week in Northern Ireland.
Met Office spokeswoman Nicola Maxey said temperatures in London and south east are likely to reach 31C and 32C with isolated weather stations potentially reaching 33C on Saturday and possibly Sunday.
“We could well see the hottest day of the year so far this weekend. It’s only got to go to 33.1C and you’re there,” she said.
The football is due to start at 3pm, and temperatures are set to reach their highest in the afternoon.
Everywhere across the south will enjoy temperatures in the high 20s and even low 30s, but almost the entire country will be feeling the heat.
“It’s not just in the south east, but the peak is likely to be the south east over the weekend,” Maxey said.
Maxey also warned of isolated showers in London on Saturday, potentially in the afternoon.
“I don’t suppose anybody minds. They’re all going to be inside watching the football,” she joked.
Next week, a colder front will come into Scotland and move south across the country causing temperatures to drop to the low 20s in the east and north east.
“Still above average for the time of year, but perhaps a bit of respite from that intense heat that we’ve been seeing in places.
“Just for the east side of the country. The south and central areas are likely to continue with the higher 20s,” Maxey said.