After a sweltering hot summer, the UK could see warmer-than-average temperatures in the autumn, according to the Met Office.
Its three-month outlook does not suggest the hot weather will last that long but it may be “warmer than average”, according to Bonnie Diamond, of the Met Office.
The outlook – used by planners, businesses and government to start plotting weather-related decisions – shows an increased chance of high-pressure systems close to the UK, meaning settled conditions are more likely than unsettled weather from our typical Atlantic weather systems.
Ms Diamond said: “This means there is an increased likelihood of warmer-than-average temperatures and below-average rainfall.
“It must be noted, however, that this does not necessarily mean temperatures will be hot or that a ‘heatwave will continue’, as above-average temperatures can mean one or two degrees above average, for which August, September and October are 19, 16 and 13 Celsius respectively.
“Further, warmer-than-average temperatures does not necessarily mean sunshine – it can be warm and cloudy too.”
Temperatures could potentially peak at 34C (91.4F) in Essex or Norfolk on Tuesday, after a balmy weekend where the hottest temperature on Sunday was 30.2C (86.36F) recorded in Northolt, Greater London, the Met Office said.
However, not all of the UK will be gazing into clear blue skies – much of Scotland and Northern Ireland will start the week with some rain.
England and Wales are to stay generally dry and warmer, with the exception of possible thunderstorms across the south east on Tuesday.
The mercury will need to climb significantly if it is to come close to England’s current August record – 38.5C (101.3F) reached in Faversham, Kent, in 2003.
However, maximum temperatures are likely to dip to around the mid-20Cs mark come Wednesday.
Forecaster Dean Hall said there will be “quite a marked change to the feel of things” from the middle of the week as conditions turn “fresher and more changeable”.
It is likely to stay cooler throughout next weekend, he said, with “no real sign of any return of the heat that we have been seeing over the recent days”.
It comes amid a sweltering European heatwave, with holidaymakers in Portugal and Spain feeling the brunt of the sun.
The mercury is being driven higher by a hot air mass moving north from Africa, bringing dust from the Sahara Desert.
British holidaymakers abroad are being warned to avoid spending time in the sun during the hottest part of the day and to keep hydrated.
Last week, local records were smashed in eight areas of Portugal, while Lisbon broke a 37-year-old record, with the thermometers reaching 44C (111.2F) on Sunday.
Red health alerts for extreme heat have been issued for more than half the country, with thermometers passing 46C (114.8F) over the weekend.
The hot, dry conditions led to several Portuguese wildfires.
In Spain, heat warnings were issued for 41 of the country’s 50 provinces.
The stifling conditions played a part in the deaths of two men, one in Barcelona and the other in the southern region of Murcia, according to Spanish authorities.