Beachgoers enjoy a hot spell of the pier in Bournemouth as experts predict a ‘hotter than average’ start to summer (Image: PA)
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Conditions are ripe for a heatwave by July after a washout June, Met Office forecasts say.
Sunseekers can expect a "hotter than average" month as summer looks set to finally make an appearance, according to long-range predictions.
The national forecaster says warmer weather is expected to settle by the beginning of July.
But first, forecasters are warning of another drab weekend to come with rain set to lash much of the country.
The first weeks of July could then be the perfect time to book a beach holiday, according to the latest forecasts.
There could be "very warm or hot days to come" by the beginning of July, meteorologists say, as a building high pressure weather system looks well-positioned to bring a blanket of baking heat sweeping over the Atlantic to Britain.
It's been a damp June and this coming weekend is predicted to be just as drab for swathes of the country
If the new warm front arrives from the balmy Azores, the UK and Europe could be bathed in Continental heat by the first weeks of July, forecasts say.
According to the Met Office's long range predictions, it is not possible to predict temperatures with certainty so many weeks out from July.
But they've given sun-starved Britain a glimpse of hope, with the latest forecasts giving beach-lovers the green light to break out the bathing suits and sun cream.
Forecasters say beach weather could be just weeks away
The Met Office says: "Although confidence remains low, in general settled conditions are likely, with a few brief more unsettled spells possible.
"Some north western areas will likely see brief spells rain and cloudy conditions at times, as well as a continued risk for periods of heavy rain or thunderstorms especially across the south.
"Above-average temperatures continue to be well signalled, with the chance of some very warm or hot days to come."
The first weeks of July could be the perfect time to book a beach holiday, according to the latest forecast
Met Office spokesperson Grahame Madge told the Mirror conditions appeared to be set for above average temperatures in the month of July.
The average maximum temperature in the summer month is 22C, meaning there could be a run of much hotter days in store, he added.
"It's likely there will be one or two spells where we will be recording higher temperatures than the July average, with heatwave potential," he said.
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According to BBC Weather's long-range forecast, if a strong area of high pressure over Scandinavia lingers into mid-July, the Atlantic could record a warm pattern overall.
That could lead to a potential for heat waves to hit the UK, the broadcaster's forecasters said.
"However, the computer models have performed rather poorly in recent months with their pressure forecasts, thus causing the chances for developing hot weather to be a bit overinflated," the BBC forecast adds.
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"A more realistic scenario with a cooler pattern to be interrupted by warm, dry spells is favoured, as the high pressure remains stationed over the Atlantic and struggles to build into Europe.
"There is a 30% risk that the high pressure builds strongly into Europe, which would lead to warmer weather along with an elevated risk of heat waves."
According to Met Office definitions, a heat wave is officially declared when maximum temperatures of 25C are recorded for three days in a row in the UK, or of 28C in London.