STORMS are expected to end the heatwave after the day got off to another scorcher today - with temperatures hitting around 30C, writes Graham Walker.
Forecasters say thunderstorms could bring the short-lived heatwave to an abrupt end.
South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire folk were told to expect scattered clouds with sunny spells, then occasional showers developing towards the evening. These will be locally heavy and thundery.
Tonight there is a continued risk of rain or heavy thundery downpours - clearing away after midnight, but still rather cloudy, with a minimum temperature of 12C.
Tuesday will be mainly dry through the day with broken cloud and some bright or sunny spells developing. A few showers are possible. Maximum temperature 21C.
Temperatures today were due to hit 31C in some parts of the country, beating the highs of 28C that made yesterday the hottest day of the year so far.
Andy Ratcliffe, a forecaster at MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: “Much of England will be hot and humid again. We’re looking at highs reaching about 31C (88F) in the London area.
“But there is the chance of scattered thundery showers developing, and there could be local downpours where they occur.”
Although some parts of Britain will enjoy soaring temperatures, some areas will be cooler than they were yesterday, he said.
“Further north-east across the UK it will be fresher, with bursts of rain. The rain will move from southern and eastern Scotland into northern England and into Wales by the end of the day.
“The remaining parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland will be mainly dry but fresher than yesterday.”
The weather will start to turn cooler tomorrow, with London enjoying the highest temperatures, of around 24C (75F).
Mr Ratcliffe said: “Tomorrow we will see the remaining hot and humid conditions clearing to leave all areas fresher for the rest of the week, with scattered showers.”
Earlier, Paul Mott of MeteoGroup, said there would be “heavy showers and localised thunder storms spreading east across England” this evening and tomorrow.
He added: “By Wednesday the heatwave will definitely be over. If anything it will be a bit colder than average, 20C (68F) in London and down to 15C (59F) elsewhere.”
London parks were packed with scantily-clad sun worshippers yesterday, taking advantage of the blue skies.
Temperatures in St James’s Park reached 28.4C (83.1F).
But those heading to the coast may have been disappointed to find temperatures as low as 15C.
In Brighton, beach goers made do with temperatures of 19C (66F), although the mercury will rise to 24C (75F) today.
Despite the occasional threat of showers, Wimbledon is likely to see some prolonged sunny spells throughout the week.
On Saturday the Met Office issued a heat-health alert for the East Midlands, east of England and the South East, warning of dangers of high temperatures, particularly for the very old, the very young and those with chronic conditions.
The high temperatures led to speed restrictions on a busy rail commuter route.
Speeds were reduced from 90mph to 80mph - and were later expected to go down to 60mph - on the London to Norwich Great Eastern line operated by the National Express East Anglia train company.
A Network Rail spokeswoman said: “We’re already doing weekend work on overhead wires on this route and the wires can overheat in very hot weather.
“A speed restriction has been introduced and it may be lowered to 60mph in the hottest part of the day.”
National Express East Anglia services were expected to be affected until 5pm today.
Between 12 noon and 5pm trains between London Liverpool Street station and Braintree in Essex will terminate at, and start from, Witham. A revised train service will run between Witham and Braintree.
Service alterations will be made on other East Anglia routes to and from Ipswich, Clacton-on-Sea, Colchester and Southend Victoria.