Pleasant, dry, and sunlit conditions appear set to persist throughout the upcoming weekend, yet caution is advised for Britons not to grow accustomed to this fair weather.

Elevated temperatures are anticipated today and across the weekend. However, meteorologists have cautioned that from Sunday onwards, the UK is likely to encounter “thundery breakdowns.”. Southern regions of England are poised to witness highs of 25C (77F) today, with the potential for temperatures to soar to 26C (78.8F) on Saturday and possibly 27C (80.6F) on Sunday, as per the forecasts from the Met Office. These temperatures are poised to surpass the highest recorded temperature of the year thus far, following Thursday’s reading of 24.3C (75.7F) at Heathrow and St. James’s Park in London.

Scotland and Northern Ireland are also primed to relish milder springtime conditions, with Glasgow forecasted to experience 22C (71.6F) on Saturday. Alex Burkill, a meteorologist with the Met Office, attributed the warmer weather to a prevailing high-pressure system that has dominated much of the UK’s weather patterns this week. Burkill also cautioned about heightened UV levels and pollen counts, advising individuals to take the necessary precautions.

In anticipation of the warmer weather, fire services in Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire, and the Isle of Wight have issued warnings regarding the elevated risk of wildfires over the weekend. Larry Mackrell, leading the wildfire response for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, emphasised the importance of vigilance, particularly in forested areas and open spaces, to prevent the uncontrollable spread of fires.

However, by Sunday, the area of high pressure is expected to shift eastward, paving the way for “more widespread and longer-lasting periods of rain,” according to the Met Office. Deputy Chief Meteorologist Tony Wisson highlighted that while Sunday may commence with fine and warm conditions for many, cloud cover is likely to increase from the west or southwest as the day progresses, accompanied by scattered, potentially heavy showers, along with thunder.

Looking ahead to Monday, forecasters anticipate more extensive and sustained spells of rain, some of which could be intense and accompanied by thunderstorms. This shift in weather patterns will also herald a notable drop in temperatures, offering a contrast to the warmth experienced over the weekend.

Stay safe in thunder and lightning

Before the thunderstorm: Lightning can cause power surges, so unplug any non-essential appliances if you are not already using a surge protector. Seek shelter if possible. When you hear thunder, you are already within range of where the next ground flash may occur. Lightning can strike as far as 10 miles away from the centre of a storm.

During the thunderstorm

Telephone lines can conduct electricity, so try to avoid using the landline, unless in an emergency. If outside, avoid water and find a low-lying open place that is a safe distance from trees, poles, or metal objects. Be aware of metal objects that can conduct or attract lightning, including golf clubs, golf buggies, fishing rods, umbrellas, motorbikes, bicycles, wheelchairs, mobility scooters, pushchairs, wire fencing and rails. If you are in a tent, try to stay away from the metal poles. If you find yourself in an exposed location, it may be advisable to squat close to the ground with your hands on your knees and your head tucked between them. Try to touch as little of the ground with your body as possible. Do not lie down on the ground. If you feel your hair stand on end, drop to the above position immediately.

After the thunderstorm

Avoid downed power lines or broken cables. If someone is struck by lightning, they often suffer severe burns. The strike also affects the heart, so check if they have a pulse.

Driving in a thunderstorm

If you are caught out in thunder and lightning, it is advised that you wind up the windows and stay inside your car. In the vast majority of cars with a metal roof and frame, the frame will act as a conductive Faraday cage, passing the current around the passengers inside and on to the ground. Soft-top convertibles, with their fabric roofs, are the most at risk and could catch fire if struck by lightning. Be aware that current can travel through other parts of many modern cars, including GPS and radio systems. Cars with metal interior handles, foot pedals, and steering wheels can also carry current. Cars can be damaged both internally and externally by lightning strikes. Thunderstorms can also pose a risk of sudden gusty winds. Those most at risk would include cyclists, motorcyclists and high-sided vehicles. Remember to give vulnerable road users, including cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians more room than usual. Keep your speed down. Lowering your speed will lower the distance you travel when buffeted around by the wind. Hailstorms can be extremely dangerous to drive in, reducing your ability to see and be seen, as well as causing damage to your vehicle. If hail is severe, stop, pull over to a safe place, and remain inside the vehicle.

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