THOUSANDS of sun-starved Brits have hit the beaches and parks today to kick off a 26C heatwave.
Warm temperatures and sunshine will be with us for four days – with mercury rising on Tuesday and peaking on Wednesday.
The hot band of weather will come after weeks of torrential rain, thunderstorms, and flooding which have devastated the country.
Meteorologist Matt Taylor said temperatures should begin to “creep up” on Tuesday with sunny spells and blue skies for most parts of England.
He said: "Temperatures should be closer to where they should be at this time of year with one or two areas seeing 25 or 26 degrees possibly."
A plume of heat straight from the Mediterranean is set to bring the sunshine during the summer holidays after days of torrential downpours.
And today, beaches in Bournemouth, Dorset, were packed out with holidaymakers making the most of the sunshine.
In Weymouth, sun-seekers jumped in the sea and sunbathed after months of unseasonal wet weather.
Temperatures will hot up between Wednesday and Friday thanks to high pressure over France.
The south could see highs of 27C, while it'll be 25C further north.
Brits are advised to make the most of it, as the sunshine will be followed by ten days of downpours.
However, 28C sunshine will return ahead of the bank holiday.
Met Office forecaster Becky Mitchell said: "Much of the UK will be dry with some sunny spells on Wednesday.
"The exception will be Northern Ireland where it will be quite wet and cloudy."
And she said the summery temperatures are being dragged over by southerly winds – adding: "The warm air is coming from the continent."
It means there will soon be an end to the relentless rainstorms which have brought flooding misery to millions in the past few weeks.
Meanwhile, bookies say it's an odds-on shot that this will be the wettest summer on record.
Ladbrokes has slashed odds from 5/4 to just 4/6 on the season entering the record books as the more miserable ever.
Alex Apati of the bookmakers said: "It's looking increasingly likely this summer will enter the record books for all the wrong reasons with even more rain ready to batter Britain."
Temperatures this weekend will also be on the cooler side, reaching highs of the low 20s.
Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said: “I think everywhere can expect to see quite heavy showers."
Some forecasters are predicting much more summery weather within the next fortnight.
Forecaster Netweather says Europe will be blanketed by hot air from August 19.
On that date, the mercury will soar across the country, it's believed.
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