High pressure is being pushed towards the UK in a westerly direction from the Atlantic, the latest maps from WXCHARTS show. This has caused temperatures in the southeast of England to rocket to 31C in London today, with even more sweltering highs of 32C expected in areas such as Surrey and Winchester in the southeast on Tuesday. Showers have also been forecast in northern areas over the next few days, with a chance of thunderstorms in the southwest and Wales tomorrow.
But, BBC Weather has warned tropical storm Paulette, which is currently barreling through Bermuda with 90mph winds, could trigger changeable conditions next week in the UK.
BBC Weather’s outlook from Monday 21, September, to Sunday 27, September, warned: “While we expect the high pressure to stick around throughout the week, there is a lot of uncertainty in the forecast since the UK is sat right on the edge of the high.
“Low pressure in France and Spain will occasionally bring some rain into southern areas during the week, but this will likely be more an exception than the rule.
“However, there is a risk that high pressure will be further east and low pressure could become more dominant.
UK weather forecast: The UK will be blasted by high pressure from the Atlantic
“The strong high is in part due to plenty of warm air from tropical storm Paulette, currently in the tropical Atlantic.
“This is contributing to the high degree of uncertainty in the forecast, so confidence is low for this week.”
Looking at the same period, Brian Gaze from The Weather Outlook wrote: “Much of the UK should have a good deal of dry and bright weather. In the north temperatures will probably be quite close to the seasonal average but it remains warmer in the south. Later in the period, it turns unsettled in the northwest with an increasing risk of wet and windy periods.”
He added: “The favoured solution is for high pressure to be centred close to or over the UK. Later in the period, high pressure may decline southeastwards allowing disturbances to begin pushing in from the Atlantic.”
Looking at this week, Jo Farrow at Netweather said the sweltering highs will linger until at least Friday.
She said: “Temperatures will widely be in the 20C for the start of this week, even reaching 30C today and tomorrow with light winds.
“The focus of the heat will be in the southeast, but the warmth will spill up through the UK tipping temperatures into the low, possibly mid 20C for Northern Ireland and Scotland depending on the incoming cloud.
“This September warmth will last for southern Britain until Friday.
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UK weather forecast: High pressure will sweep in from the west
“Temperatures should be even higher on Tuesday than today for many parts.
“However, the extra cloud with the risk of a few showers means lower confidence. Still, it will be very warm, not windy and fine.
“Temperatures could reach 32C, it will depend on the cloud with will become patchy and break.”
Met Office Chief Meteorologist, Frank Saunders, predicted the UK could see areas reaching “heatwave criteria” this week.
UK weather forecast: Highs of 32C will hit the south east
He said: “On Wednesday a cold front will slowly sink southwards, bringing cloudier skies and temperatures closer to average for northern parts of the UK, but southern areas will still see plenty of sunshine and temperatures in the mid- possibly high-20s Celsius, which could meet heatwave criteria in a few locations.”
He added Tuesday is expected to be the hottest day of the week.
Mr Saunders said: “High pressure in combination with warm, southerly winds will bring a spell of summery weather across parts of the UK early this week, with plenty of sunshine and higher than average temperatures for most.
UK weather forecast: The south east will be hit by the hot air system
“On Monday and Tuesday temperatures in Northern Ireland and Scotland will be in the high-teens to low 20s Celsius but with cloudier skies at times, and the odd shower.
“Meanwhile England and Wales will be sunnier, especially today with temperatures widely above 25 Celsius.
“It’ll turn hot in southern and eastern areas with temperatures reaching around 30 Celsius in a few spots, possibly 31 Celsius on Tuesday.”
The latest satellite images from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) show the eyewall of Tropical storm Paulette covering the island of Bermuda.
UK weather forecast: Northern areas will be lashed by rain this week
UK weather forecast: A cold front will sweep over on Wednesday
The Category 1 hurricane is predicted to strengthen on Tuesday and wreak havoc in the Atlantic basin as it turns northwards.
The US National Hurricane Center said: “The eye of Paulette will move north-northwestward to northward this morning, bringing the southern portion of the eyewall with hurricane-force winds and torrential across the entire island of Bermuda very soon.
“Additional strengthening is likely when Paulette turns northeastward and moves away from Bermuda tonight through Tuesday.”