Britain is finally soaking up the sun as temperatures soar up and down the country with a possible hottest June day ever on the cards on Saturday.
Sunbathers were pictured basking in the heat on the south coast, with temperatures in Bournemouth already pushing 80F (27C) this afternoon.
Forecasters are urging Glastonbury-goers to remember their sun cream and warning parents to keep young children out of the sun as the UK prepares for what could be the hottest June day since records began on Saturday.
The festival site in Pilton, Somerset and the surrounding south west will be the hottest place to be for the next two days when the mercury could reach 84F (29C) today and 89F (31C) on Friday.
The heat could prove fatal for children and the elderly with Public Health England warning the south west, west midlands and south east are most likely to suffer from the heat today and through to the weekend.
In Europe the Saharan Bubble has seen conditions reach a sweltering 113F (45C), killing animals in Spain and causing wildfires in Greece and Germany.
The same hot air from the 2,000-mile wide African plume will push eastwards on Saturday, when the Met Office says the highest temperatures will be in London, Lincolnshire and the south east and could smash the record of 96F (35.6C) set in Southampton on June 28 1976.
Recent downpours combined with this week’s heat could mean an invasion of mosquitoes as the week draws to a close and July begins.
Lucia Sancez and her friend Alicia Jay, 20, are pictured frolicking in the sea on Bournemouth beach today as Britain boils
This woman in Lyme Regis, Dorset, is pictured with painful sunburn as scorching temperatures beam down on the UK
Shawn Wickett and his 12-year-old daughter Emily are pictured playing in the Lymington River in the New Forest today
And relax! Two men are pictured soaking up the sun on Bournemouth beach today where temperatures are well above 80F
Coastal areas in the north east of England and Scotland will be cheated out of the good weather, with easterly winds meaning they get highs of just 53F (12C) while the rest of the country boils.
It will still be a heatwave, however, as long as London reaches 82F (28C), the south east 80F (27C) and the rest of the country 78F (26C) or 77F (25C), according to the Met Office criteria.
High pressure across the south west means there are severe wind warnings in place for Devon and Cornwall until midday tomorrow, where wind speeds could reach 50mph.
Overnight temperatures are much higher than usual for the time of year, with Porthmadog in north west Wales experiencing 66F (19C) tonight instead of the average 51F (11C).
It will also be an uncomfortable night’s sleep for people camping out at Glastonbury, with overnight temperatures in the south west also high – 64F (18C).
Glastonbury-goers will be relieved to know however it will cool off slightly on Sunday for the final day of the festival, with a good amount of sunshine and highs of 75F (24C).
On Sunday northern England and Scotland will see a switch of conditions, with western coasts getting the cold winds experienced by the east and vice versa.
One Glastonbury-goer in Pilton, Somerset was so hot this morning she went out without a top, covering her breasts with tape
The hot weather turned out to be a little too much for some festival-goers and this group of friends decided to cool down
Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis (pictured centre) and costumed performers, open the Glastonbury-on-sea pier in scorching sunshine today
The Western Isles will feel extremely chilly for the time of year, while the east coast of Scotland will enjoy temperatures way into the seventies.
In hotter areas, Public Health England has a Level 2 heat health risk in place, which means hospital patients, children and the elderly in the south west, west midlands and south east are between 60 and 80 per cent likely to be at serious risk of suffering from the heat.
During a previous heatwave in August 2003, a 10-day heatwave resulted in 2,000 deaths with forecasters warning the most vulnerable could see their lives at risk.
The scorching conditions starting today will also come with a price of high pollen and UV levels as well as risks of further bug infestations.
Residents in Avonmouth are so fed up with flies swarming around their homes they have threatened to withhold council tax until something is done about them.
The insects have been found inside kettles, toilet bowls and cups of tea. Sticky fly traps have been covered in minutes and some families have even resorted to eating at their dinner tables covered in massive nets.
Affected residents say the problem is so bad they can’t eat or sleep in their homes and have blamed the various waste treatment facilities in Avonmouth as the cause.
Hot air from the 2,000-mile wide African plume will push eastwards on Saturday, when the Met Office says the highest temperatures will be in London, Lincolnshire and the south east and could smash the record of 96F (35.6C) set in Southampton on June 28 1976
Residents in Avonmouth, Bristol, say they are being overrun with flies due to the muggy weather, with traps rapidly becoming full of the insects, pictured left and right. They have even threatened to stop paying council tax unless they are sorted
Across the country temperatures are set to remain warm in most regions following the violent thunderstorms brought by the Sahara Bubble, but later in the week there will be a sharp divide right down the middle of Britain.
Today western areas will have above average temperatures, with the Met Office predicting below average in the east.
As the week progresses, the heatwave will shift from west to east, leaving Belfast, Cardiff and Bristol in the cold by the weekend.
Met Office forecaster Matthew Box said: ‘There is an enormous reservoir of warm air across Europe at the moment.
‘On Friday we will have high pressure over the UK and low pressure out in the Atlantic, and that will bring settled weather conditions across the UK and an easterly flow of air across the southern half of the country.
‘Those easterly winds are drawing that warm air from the near continent and that reservoir across the UK and that’s why we’re getting those warm temperatures.
‘We are looking at 28 or 29 degrees (82-84F), perhaps peaking at 30 here or there on Friday and that will be across western or south-western parts of the UK.
‘Then we could see 30 or 31 across eastern areas of England; London and the Home Counties through Lincolnshire and parts of Yorkshire, on Saturday.’
Commuters will also have to contend with high pollen levels this morning, as humidity dogs the UK and the heatwave continues
Forecasters are predicting glorious sunshine and hot conditions for the next few days, a far cry from this morning’s violent thunderstorms in some parts, which brought widespread flooding and torrential rain with more than a week’s worth falling in just an hour in East Sussex.
The thunderstorms are being powered by a enormous plume of warm continental air, called a Saharan Bubble, which is moving across Europe and causing heatwaves in several major tourist destinations.
Hotter temperatures finally hit the UK today, with forecasters hopeful that the 35C (95F) June temperature record could be under threat by Friday or Saturday should the clouds stay away.
It was a particularly wet and muddy arrival for Glastonbury Festival fans this morning, but forecasters are warning revellers to pack their sun cream as acts take to the stage today.
This morning, forecasters issued ‘danger to life’ warnings across England and Wales as the country was hit by the tail-end of a 60-hour weather bomb, with lightning and monsoon rain wreaking havoc for commuters.
Parts of East Sussex was struck by 0.8 inches of rain in one hour this morning, while Kent experienced the same rainfall in three hours as roads in both city centres and local villages were deluged by flash floods.
Residents threaten to withhold council tax after muggy weather causes huge fly infestation
Residents say they are so fed up with the flies that they are threatening to withhold council tax unless something is done to solve the problem. Pictured is a fly in a cup of tea in the town
Britain’s muggy weather is causing a huge fly infestation in Avonmouth, Bristol, with some residents refusing to pay council tax until the issue is dealt with.
The insects have been found inside kettles, toilet bowls and cups of tea. Sticky fly traps have been covered in minutes and some families have even resorted to eating at their dinner tables covered in massive nets.
Affected residents say the problem is so bad they can’t eat or sleep in their homes and are threatening to withhold their council tax unless something is done.
Flies have been an issue every summer for the last five years, and many point the finger at the various waste treatment facilities in Avonmouth.
Resident Kerri Reed said: ‘Living with flies is beyond a joke now. There are hundreds in the home no matter what you do. I can’t believe we have to live like this, it’s totally unacceptable.
An unusually warm snap in February brought the flies out earlier this year, but it has generally been a summer phenomenon.
Locals claimed at least one train full of waste trundles through Avonmouth every night bringing more rubbish and more flies.
Resident Liesl Oliver said is is impossible to live a normal life in Avonmouth and Shirehampton.
She said: ‘Basically we can not live a normal day-to-day life with these flies. You try and cook? They are there. Try and relax on an evening, they are landing on you constantly. Try and sleep? They are there.
‘If I’m not working, my days off are cleaning, bleaching everything, don’t know why I do this though because you could have the cleanest of houses and you’re still affected by them.’
Heather Tanton Duncan added: ‘It’s horrendous. I have to keep the windows and doors shut in the warm weather to stop them coming in. I have to hang that ghastly fly paper in my house and it’s an unbearable living situation.’
Complaints have been sent to Bristol City Council with investigators now looking at the possible source.
Council officer Dylan Davies said: ‘We are aware of a number of complaints of flies and have been investigating potential sources and monitoring fly numbers year on year across the city.
‘There is unlikely to be one particular source but these will include a combination of domestic and commercial waste and facilities where these are processed together with the natural habitat and the flies’ ability to reproduce quickly in favourable conditions such as during warm and wet conditions.
‘We have worked with Bristol Waste to consider domestic bins and continue to work with the Environment Agency to investigate and inspect waste facilities in the area to ensure that fly populations are suitably controlled.’
There were delays of hours for train users too, with all rail lines from Brighton through Haywards Heath blocked due to the flooding on the tracks, while 14 trapped residents in Stirling had to be rescued by lifeboat teams.
Many disgruntled Britons cursed the wet start to the summer on social media, while others made the most of the dreary conditions by ditching their clothes and going for a swim in flooded underpaths and high streets.
A yellow thunderstorm warning covering central and eastern England and a yellow rain warning covering North Wales and north-west England are in place.
What is the Saharan Bubble?
Britain could break its 35C (95F) June temperature record this week with the arrival of a 2,000-mile wide African plume in continental Europe.
But it will begin with humid thunderstorms and severe weather warnings covering the majority of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
A huge bubble of hot air from northern Africa will move north of Algeria towards Italy and Spain today.
High pressure will mean the mercury is still high, but tropical thunderstorms will also bring rain, wind and hail.
The grim spell of showers and storms will last until Wednesday, when conditions will start to improve.
The Met Office forecast UK temperature highs building from 28C on Monday to nearly 30C by Thursday and potential for 34C – and possibly hotter if less cloud – on Friday and Saturday.
Disgruntled commuters took to Twitter to express their disbelief at the terrible weather this morning, with one writing: ‘Tell me again, what month is it? Stood at the bus stop in a rain coat with my hood up.’
Another user tweeted: ‘What is this summer? It’s f****** summer and it’s just rain.’
Met Office meteorologist Simon Partridge said: ‘The storms have arrived along the south coast of England from the Isle of Wight to the Dove Strait with increasing amounts of thundery activity.
‘Those storms are expected to clear by the time we get to 7am, leaving some light rain for an hour or so before it gets drier through the morning.
The majority of the rain in Edinburgh, 33mm, fell in just three hours yesterday afternoon causing flash flooding.
But hot air moving in from continental Europe will bring with it drier, sunnier and warmer conditions, and by Saturday parts of London could get as hot as 35C. Both the UV index and the pollen count are forecast to remain high this week.
Ms Maxey said: ‘People who suffer from hay fever might feel quite uncomfortable.’
The first Government heat health warning of the year put hospitals on alert for an increase in admissions and ordered health and social workers to prepare to make daily contact with the ill, vulnerable and elderly.
Despite a wet start, the Met Office said summer is ten times more likely to be much-hotter-than-average than much-cooler-than-average across June, July and August.
A 2,000-mile wide African air plume called the Saharan Bubble is expected to bring Europe a record heatwave – with Britain expected to break through its 35C (95F) June temperature record. Temperatures for today pictured above
Supermarket sales suffer from wet start to summer so far
The wet start to the summer sent ice cream, beer and burger sales plummeting on this time last year as shoppers turned to soup to cope with the unseasonable conditions.
Grocers enjoyed only modest growth of 1.4% year on year over the quarter to June 16, largely down to last year’s bumper summer which included soaring temperatures and the build-up to the men’s FIFA World Cup, according to analysts Kantar.
Ice cream sales over the last month were £15 million lower than the same time last year, while beer was down £17 million and burgers fell £6 million. Instead, shoppers turned to comfort food as the rain fell, with fresh and tinned soup sales up by 8% and 16% respectively.
Aldi attracted 883,000 more shoppers over the quarter, extending its market share by 0.5 percentage points on last year to 7.9%. Lidl also enjoyed another strong period, with sales up by 7.5% and market share reaching 5.7%.
Met Office forecaster Simon Partridge said: ‘Warm air from north Africa will bring an extensive heatwave to large parts of western and central Europe, with highs into the 40s (104F) in Germany and France.
‘The UK will see highs build through the week after 28C (82.4F) on Monday and Tuesday.
By Friday and Saturday sees the chance of 34C (93.2F), and possibly warmer if there is more sunshine and less cloud in the west, which is forecast to be the hottest area.
‘It will be very humid, with thunderstorms until Tuesday bringing the risk of localised flooding, and showers popping up later in the week.
‘Glastonbury has wet ground and risks thundery showers before the festival and occasional showers during the event, but will be in the region with the hottest temperatures – so pack wellies and sun cream.’
Mr Partridge continued: ‘An extensive heatwave is on the way for much of the UK for the best part of a week. ‘Heat from north Africa will cover a big area of Europe, with up to 41C (106F) in western Germany and France.’
The hottest day should be Friday, when up to 33C (91F) is expected in Somerset, which is likely to be the warmest part of the country.
Animals are killed in ‘out of control’ wild fires as blazes break out in Spain, Greece and Germany during Saharan Bubble heatwave roasting Europe with temperatures set to top 113F
By Nick Enoch and Chris Pleasance for MailOnline
Farm animals have been killed in an ‘out of control’ wildfire in Spain while blazes have also broken out in Greece and Germany as Europe suffers through a Saharan Bubble heatwave.
Soldiers have been called in to help tackle the raging forest fire in Catalonia which is devouring land across Torre del Espanol as Spain roasts in 109F (43) heat.
But officials admit the fire – fanned by strong winds and soaring temperatures – is ‘getting bigger’ and warned it could eventually destroy 20,000 hectares in what presented an ‘extreme risk.’
Dozens have already been evacuated, water-dropping aircraft are helping emergency crews on the ground and distressing images show farm animals lying dead after being caught up in the blaze. The region’s interior minister Miquel Buch said the fire may have been caused by ‘an accumulation of manure in a farm that generated enough heat to explode and generate sparks.’
Sweltering Europe is in the grip of an ‘unprecedented’ heatwave caused by a bank of hot air pushing up from Africa with temperatures set to top 113F on Friday. On Wednesday Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic recorded their highest-ever June temperatures.
Firefighters in Greece are battling to contain a blaze near an arms factory just 30 miles from Athens with the fire already having forced the evacuation of a small refugee camp. Wildfires are common during Greece’s hot, arid summers and last year, 101 people died after a blaze swept through a seaside resort east of the capital.
In Italy, a homeless man was found dead after falling ill due to the heatwave while three have been killed this week in the south of France from suspected cold shock after jumping into the sea. Paris, Lyon, Marseille and Strasbourg, authorities have all banned the most-polluting cars from the roads amid pollution fears.
A forest fire in Spain raged out of control on Thursday amid a Europe-wide heatwave, devouring land despite the efforts of hundreds of firefighters who worked through the night, local authorities said
The blaze broke out on Wednesday afternoon in Torre del Espanol in the northeastern region of Catalonia and by Thursday it had destroyed more than 4,000 hectares (10,000 acres), the region’s interior minister Miquel Buch said
A fireman works on the extinguishing of a forest fire in Ziltendorf near Frankfurt an der Oder, northeastern Germany, close to the border with Poland. Wild fires have broken out amid stifling conditions in the country
Authorities raised alerts as Europe’s record-breaking June heatwave threatened to intensify with temperatures heading past 100F. The choking heat has prompted traffic restrictions, sparked forest fires and fanned debate over public nudity as sweltering Germans stripped off
In France – where the mercury hit 102F (39C) yesterday – three people died from suspected cold shock after diving into the sea from a hot beach.
A 70-year-old man suffered a cardiac arrest on Monday at Marseillan Plage, near Montpellier – the day the heatwave began – before a 62-year-old woman and a 75-year-old man died on Tuesday in the same region.
Temperatures in central France are expected to rise to 113F (45C) by Friday, which would break the all-time record set in 2003 at 111F (44.1C).
Dozens of schools have already shut across the country due to insufficient air conditioning while in Paris more than a million of the most polluting vehicles were yesterday been banned from the capital for the day, with the city especially prone to smog in heatwaves.
The wildfires in Catalonia are among the worst it has seen in 20 years, the regional government said, adding that around 30 people had been evacuated from farmhouses in the affected area. Two horses are pictured dead after fires hit their farm
Distressing images show the bodies of a flock of sheep after their barn was hit by fierce forest fire in La Torre De L’Espanyol
A digger was destroyed as a fire ripped across a farm near the village of La Torre De L’Espanyol, in Tarragona, Catalonia
However, French winemakers said the hot weather was more than welcome as it could produce a superior vintage.
Meanwhile, in parts of north-east Spain, exceptionally hot air could result in temperatures of 113 F (45C) – close to its high of 117.1F (47.3C), recorded at Montoro, Cordoba province, in 2017.
The Aemet meteorological agency in Spain said on Wednesday there was a ‘significant risk’ in five northern provinces with temperatures of 107F (42C) expected. ‘Hell is coming,’ one Spanish TV weather presenter tweeted.
The worst is expected on Friday, when 33 of the 50 Spanish provinces face extreme temperatures, which could reach 111F (44C) in Girona.
A firefighter tries to extinguish a blaze near Flix as a forest fire raged out of control in the northeastern region of Catalonia today
The blaze, which spread quickly due to strong winds and temperatures which reached 35 degrees Celsius (95 Fahrenheit) in the area, forced the evacuation of about 20 people and the closure of several roads, the regional government of Catalonia said
In Berlin, authorities raised alerts yesterday as the record-breaking June weather threatened to intensify.
The 70-year-old record for the highest temperature recorded for June was beaten in Germany as 101.5F (38.6C) was recorded in Brandenburg, the German Weather Service (DWD) confirmed Wednesday.
The choking heat has prompted traffic restrictions, sparked forest fires and fanned debate over public nudity as sweltering Germans stripped off.
In Greece, where around 100 lives were lost in last year’s deadly fires at the coastal resort of Mati, hospitals and officials were on red alert with temperatures of around 113F (45C) nationwide.
Meteorologists blamed a blast of hot air from northern Africa for the heatwave so early in the European summer.
Fire crews have been battling a fierce forest blaze in Ziltendorf near Frankfurt an der Oder, northeastern Germany