Met Office forecasts when thunderstorms will swoop in and end glorious heatwave

The UK's mammoth heatwave saw most of the country bask in its hottest days of the year over the weekend, with temperatures reaching the low-30s in parts of England and Northern Ireland.

Beaches were packed out and so-called Freedom Day was heralded with millions of staycation trips to the nearest watering holes.

But the Met Office has said the UK’s summer fling with Mediterranean heat won’t end just yet – with thunderstorms expected to rain on the country’s parade this weekend.

On Friday violent storms will move in to the Midlands and the West Country, blocking out the sun and bringing colder temperatures of 20 degrees and below.

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Till then, vast swathes of the UK will continue to enjoy heat in the low-30s and high-20s.

Northern Ireland recorded the hottest temperature in its history on Saturday after thermometers recorded a 31.2C peak in Ballywatticock, County Down.

That narrowly beat the previous record of 30.8 degrees reported in July 1983 and June 1976.

Meanwhile Heathrow recorded an England high of 31.6C on Sunday, with Cardiff reaching 30.2 degrees.

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Scotland wasn’t left out of the euphoria either, which saw temperatures best Mexico and Tenerife.

Threave in Dumfries and Galloway peaked at 28.2C on Saturday, its hottest weather ever recorded.

But a Met Office meteorologist added the joy would continue through the week, with “locally hot” spots treated to yet more days of 30C highs.

Weather scientist Becky Mitchell said: “We could get up to 32C next week – it is possible each day for different places in the country.

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“The most likely areas to get 32C are parts of the Midlands and down towards south-west England and potentially London, they are all going to see the highest temperatures in the coming days.”

Public Health England advised vulnerable people caught up in the hottest temperatures to drink lots of liquids and avoid the most intense sun exposure between 11am and 3pm.

Climate change has been credited with causing recent shock heat events in the UK over past summers.

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The Met Office warned in May there was a good chance the average global temperature would reach 1.5C higher than pre-Victorian levels within the next 5 years, with serious consequences for rising sea levels, melting ice and extreme weather events.

Hundreds of excess deaths are estimated to have been caused by the overwhelming heat seen by the UK during the summer of 2018.

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Many houses and care homes are under equipped to deal with the shocking temperatures, which are set to get only more severe.

Three summers ago, the UK enjoyed – or suffered through – its joint-hottest summer in recorded history and even experienced wildfires around the Greater Manchester area.

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