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THE UK will roast in a 27C heatwave fuelled by a plume of hot air from Africa - but there'll be seven days of thunderstorms too after the suspected hottest day of the year on Saturday.

The tropical blast sweeping in from the south will plunge the country into a steamy hot spell, with the mercury set to rocket by the middle of next week.

Brits will bask in a gorgeously warm heatwaveCredit: PA
But despite the roasting temperatures, seven days of thunderstorms are on the way - with squalls expected as early as tonightCredit: PA
The unstable weather comes courtesy of a so-called 'African plume'Credit: Metweather

However, there'll also be explosive thunderstorms during the sultry weather.

Tuesday is likely to be the warmest day of next week, with highs of between 25C and 27C in the South East.

It comes after glorious 24C sunshine on Saturday, believed to be the hottest day of the year so far and warmer than the Greek islands of Crete and Rhodes.

Supermarket giant Tesco says it expects sales of barbecue food to double this weekend and for there to be increased demand for beer and wine.

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Met Office meteorologist Aidan McGivern said: “Through Saturday night and Sunday, temperatures rise and the fine weather arrives.

"We could also see some showers or thunderstorms drifting north from the continent, most likely affecting the southern part of the UK on Saturday night and Sunday, but perhaps more widely later.

"At the same time, if we get some sunshine and this plume occurring, temperatures could be rising.

"During the early part of next week it’s possible to see low to mid 20s fairly widely, and high 20s around the South East if we get sunshine associated with this plume.

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"However, as I mentioned, it does bring the threat of thundery outbreaks at the same time."

His colleague Alex Deakin said "warm and humid air" will likely "spark some heavy, thundery showers".

“If you have weather-dependant plans on Sunday, keep up to date with the forecasts," he warned.

Meanwhile, John Hammond, meteorologist for Weathertrending, said storms may blast in as early as tonight.

“Even this weekend, thundery showers may drift up from France into some southern and central areas," he told the Express.

“In the brighter spells, temperatures could shoot up into the mid-20s early in the new week.


"Further cloud and potentially heavy rain are likely to pulse erratically northwards across the UK over the next few days.

“Amounts will vary but the potential is there for a lot of rain in some places.”

The stunning weather is expected to drive crowds to the seaside.

Beaches have been packed with Brits making the most of the sunshine for the past few weeks.

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The Met's long-range forecast has predicted warm temperatures to last until May 23.

But the hot sun will also be accompanied by a "pollen bomb" which will cause misery for hayfever sufferers, experts predict.

The hottest day of the year so far could arrive on Tuesday as temperatures rocket to 27CCredit: ©Graham Hunt
It follows a gorgeous Saturday, when temperatures were higher in the UK than in RhodesCredit: Dave Nelson
Londoners made the most of the weather at St James' ParkCredit: i-Images