Heatwave thresholds are expected to be met in wide parts of central and eastern England as high temperatures persist for three days or more. 

After a cloudy start for many on Monday morning, a pulse of warm air will move up from the Continent bringing clearer skies and much warmer temperatures from the south east. As the brighter conditions spread across England and Wales, temperatures could reach 29°C in London and East Anglia.

Rain will persist in the far north west of Scotland through the day and overnight but will weaken and eventually clear on Tuesday. It will also be cooler here with temperatures expected to reach 19°C. Northern Ireland will see some sunshine with highs of 25°C in Belfast.

Tuesday will see more widespread sunshine across all parts of the UK, with the best of the brightness in the East and some scattered cloud remaining along western coasts. It will be predominantly dry across the UK with temperatures climbing into the low 30s Celsius across east Wales and much of England as far north as York. Parts of southeast England may reach 34C. 

Later in the afternoon thunderstorms will move into the Westcountry bringing heavy thundery showers from the early evening and overnight as they spread north into Wales before dissipating in the early hours of Wednesday.

Temperatures will remain high overnight into Wednesday, making it uncomfortable to sleep, with potentially record-breaking overnight temperatures of 24°C. The previous record is 23.9°C set in August 1990.

From Wednesday fresher air is expected to move into western parts of the UK however the heat will continue to build in central and eastern parts with highs reaching 35°C.

Thursday is expected to see the peak in temperatures with 37°C possible in the south east of England. The current July record is 36.7°C set at Heathrow in 2015. The all time UK temperature record is 38.5°C recorded in Faversham in August 2003.

Chief Meteorologist Paul Gundersen said: "The UK will experience another pulse of high temperatures this week, with the possibility of records being broken for not only July but also all-time records. The weather setup is broadly similar to the pattern that brought high temperatures to much of continental Europe at the end of June. As well as high temperatures during the day, overnight temperatures will also be notably warm and could also break records. Conditions will feel much more comfortable for all by the time we get to Friday."

The heatwave will start to break overnight into Friday, as a cold front pushes eastwards bringing rainfall and thunderstorms to some parts as fresher air moves in from the Atlantic. In contrast to Thursday’s temperatures, highs on Friday could be 10°C cooler with 27°C likely in London.

Considering the widespread and prolonged high temperatures this week, many parts of central and eastern England are expected to reach the heatwave thresholds.

Heatwaves are extreme weather events, but research shows that climate change is making these events more likely. A scientific study by the Met Office into the Summer 2018 heatwave in the UK showed that it was 30 times more likely to occur now than in 1750 because of the higher concentration of carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) in the atmosphere. As greenhouse gas concentrations increase heatwaves of similar intensity are projected to become even more frequent, perhaps occurring as regularly as every other year. The Earth’s surface temperature has risen by 1°C since the pre-industrial period (1850-1900).

You can get the most accurate and up to date forecast for your area using our forecast pages and by following us on Twitter and Facebook, as well as using our mobile app which is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from the Google Play store.