The UK is bracing itself for its hottest day of the year so far, with temperatures forecast to reach 26C or 27C on Thursday.
meteorological office Experts have been predicting since December that this year will be one of Earth’s hottest on record.
They say the average global temperature for 2023 is projected to remain within about 1.2C above the pre-industrial average – the tenth consecutive year that temperatures have reached at least 1C above those levels.
Beaches around the UK were crowded with sun-worshippers on a sunny weekend.
The highest temperature recorded on Sunday was again in Porthmadog, where it reached 25C, while Castlederg in Northern Ireland recorded 24.5C, Bournemouth 24.2C and Glasgow 24.1C for Scotland.
According to the Met Office, a further rise in thermometers is expected this week across Wales and south-west England, which could experience 26C or 27C on Thursday.
However, there could be rain in the south of England towards the end of the week.
Meteorologist Greg Dewhurst said: “There will be very dry weather, with the west always more sunny and the east cloudy.
“The temperature towards the end of the week is going to be similar if not slightly higher.
“This west-east divide will continue along with the temperature.”
He said temperatures in the western parts of the UK would rise into the mid-20s, while mid to high teens are more likely in the eastern part of the UK.
But the southwest could be windy through the weekend.
An El Niño is declared when ocean temperatures in the tropical eastern Pacific rise 0.5C above the long-term average, and this drives extreme weather globally, supercharging human-caused warming.
The Met Office and health chiefs have created a new colour-coded heatwave alert system to prepare for a longer and worse summer in England and its impact on people’s health.
Over the coming two weeks, temperatures will be “generally above average”, but in the second half of the month, they will be “broadly above average, perhaps substantially”, according to Met Office forecasters.
There will be a risk of occasional heavy rain or thundershowers in the south, but dry and hot weather will also be interspersed.