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Britain basked in the year’s highest temperatures on Monday with the mercury set to rise even further on Wednesday.
Beaches and parks were packed with sunseekers as a peak of 29.7C was recorded in Teddington, West London.
But the Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning until 6am on Friday for thunderstorms in most of England and half of Wales.
Forecasters predict 30C could be reached in the South on Wednesday.
Sunseekers hit the beach at Bournemouth, Dorset, where Lucimora Goiania from Brazil enjoyed a dip in the sea, and people in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warks, tried to cool down with a row on the river.
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People out on Bournemouth seafront
In Southend, Essex, where a big clear-up began on Monday, deckchairs flew as around 10 men fought with horrified families looking on.
There was cloud and hazy conditions in the North, with a high of 19C in Yorkshire, and temperatures will reach up to 24C on Tuesday and 23C on Wednesday.
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Lucimora Goiana in the water at Bournemouth
Met Office expert Oli Claydon expects a 10C fall by the weekend, bringing temperatures back to average for June.
He said: “There’s a chance of 30C on Wednesday then temperatures will drop off.”
England’s previous hottest day this year came on June 2 when a temperature of 28.3C was recorded in Northolt, West London.
Rowers on river at Stratford-upon-Avon
Busy on beach at Bournemouth
Mr Claydon said that despite the blazing hot weather Britain is still not officially enjoying a heatwave.
For this to happen, consistently high temperatures above a set level must be recorded three days in a row.
London – where the trigger is 28C – will narrowly miss out with a forecast high of 26C on Monday.
Overflowing bins on Southend beach
(Image: Phil Harris)
Mr Claydon added: “Because we had such a wet and cold May, temperatures do feel very warm.
“But we still haven’t met the specific criteria for a heatwave and that’s because of the slight drop expected for Tuesday.”
MET OFFICE OUTLOOK Tuesday:
Cloud in southeast England should thin, leaving much of England and Wales quite sunny and warm. Northern Ireland and Scotland cooler and turning cloudier, with rain and strong winds reaching some northwestern parts.
Rain in western Scotland easing and sinking south, clearer weather following but with scattered showers across far northwest where remaining windy. Fine and warm across most SE areas of UK.
Outbreaks of rain and coastal fog northern and western England and Wales. Sunny spells elsewhere, with isolated showers in northwest. Very warm across southern UK with thunderstorms likely later.
Outlook for Thursday to Saturday:
Sunny spells and a few showers affecting Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Areas of thunderstorms likely to affect parts of England and Wales at times with temperatures returning to nearer normal.