UK heatwave map: Exact areas likely to see scorching 23C blast this week

Met Office forecasts warm weather before thunderstorms

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UK temperatures have orbited the 20C mark for the last week, igniting the first heatwave of 2022. Wall-to-wall sunshine has dominated since the week began, with forecasters expecting little change over the next few days. The sunshine appears set to push temperatures in some areas past 20C but will also prompt a few dramatic storms.

Weather charts show a vast heat plume drifting towards the UK from the east, passing over the Netherlands and France.

The plume will briefly graze the southeast, spiking temperatures from late today.

Met Office forecasters expect it to drive temperatures in London and Peterborough to 23C by 4pm, the highest in the country.

Another five areas will see temperatures of 20C and more around the same time.

READ MORE: Met Office warning: Millions issued thunderstorm alert

Areas reaching 20C and above by 4pm on May 18 include:

London: 23C

Peterborough: 23C

Norwich: 22C

Lincoln: 22C

Birmingham: 21C

York: 21C

Manchester: 21C

Newcastle upon Tyne: 20C

Those temperatures will last into Thursday before cooling down for the weekend.

By May 19, only London, Norwich, Peterborough, and Lincoln remain above the 20C mark.

London stays the hottest, according to the Met Office, with 22C highs, with the remaining three areas on 20C each.

On Friday, May 20, most of the country will see temperatures hover in the mid to high teens.

Largely sunny days will dominate, with highs of 17C in London and 13C, 14C, 15C and 16C elsewhere.

Over the weekend, temperatures will rocket back to 20C again in London, while the rest of the country sees around 16C and 17C.

While forecasts have promised a glorious week, the heatwave comes with a caveat.

Forecasters have released thunderstorm warnings for the next couple of days.

The UK weather warnings commence from 7pm on May 18 and last until 3am on May 19 for Southwest England, London and Southeast England, the East of England and East Midlands.

Over eight hours, intense thunderstorms could cause “torrential downpours and frequent lightning” with “large hail and strong wind gusts”.

Central areas in southern England can expect the worst, with up to 25mm (one inch) of rain within an hour.

Some badly impacted areas could see up to 40mm of rain within two to three hours.

In its warning, the Met Office told people to expect flooding, lightning strikes and a “small chance” that rain could flood homes and businesses.

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