Large parts of the country - including the North West - are set for a warm and dry weekend as forecasters predict an outbreak of summer sunshine at last.
Thursday was officially the warmest day of the year so far, with the temperature reaching nearly 21C in London (the highest North West temperature was 20.5C in Cheshire)- and the good news it’s going to get even hotter over the weekend.
Amber Warning of Snow for London & South East England : Bracknell Forest, Buckinghamshire, Greater London, Hampshire, Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire, Reading, Slough, Surrey, West Berkshire, Windsor and Maidenhead & Wokingham valid from 2100 Thu 05 May to 2200 Thu 05 MayMet Office
Forecasters say temperatures could hit a sizzling 77F (25C) nationally on Sunday - warmer than Rome, Madrid and Ibiza - as summer finally arrives. In the North West, we can expect temperatures to top 23C
The Met Office confirmed the mercury soared to a 2016 high of 20.8C (69.4F) in both St James Park in central London, and Northolt, north London, on Thursday lunchtime - just eight days after much of the country endured snow.
The figures beat the previous highest mark this year of 20.3C (68.5F) recorded at Porthmadog, Wales, back on 21 April.
But the Met Office says Thursday’s temperatures will be put in the shade over the weekend as warm tropical air arrives from southern Europe.
Met Office forecaster Emma Sharples said: “It is looking like we’ll see temperatures increasing day by day over the weekend with Sunday being the warmest.
“On Sunday we could be looking at temperatures in the mid-twenties: 23, 24 even 25C.
“Areas that will see these temperatures will include central and southern parts of England, although there may be some cloud around.”
She warned that people with allergies should take precautions as pollen and UV levels will be high.
The predictions came despite the Met Office yesterday issuing an amber snow alert for parts of the south-east as they basked in sunshine.
The blunder warned: “Amber Warning of Snow for London & South East England : Bracknell Forest, Buckinghamshire, Greater London, Hampshire, Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire, Reading, Slough, Surrey, West Berkshire, Windsor and Maidenhead & Wokingham valid from 2100 Thu 05 May to 2200 Thu 05 May.”
Alex Burkill, a meteorologist for the Met Office said the bizarre mistake was likely the result of in-house testing.
He said: “I know there was testing happening and as far as I am aware it was a test that managed to slip through.
“It was noticed as soon as it happened and it has already been taken down. It was not meant to happen.”