Bank Holiday Monday officially hottest day of the year as temperatures hit 24.6C

Bank Holiday Monday is officially the hottest day of the year so far.

As most Brits enjoy an extra day off work, the mercury soared to 24.6C in Kinloss, Scotland, today.

It meant it beat the previous record high for 2021, which was set on March 30 when Kew Gardens in southwest London peaked at 24.5C.

Many took full advantage of the balmy weather as people flocked to outdoor beauty spots and gardens to enjoy the balmy conditions.

Beaches from Blackpool and Southend to Bournemouth and Brighton were packed, while attractions such as London's Wimbledon Common, Bolton Abbey in Yorkshire, and the River Avon near Bath, Somerset, were also teeming with sunbathers.

Some even stripped down to their swimwear and took a dip in waterways to cool off and escape the heat.

Conditions were similar in Northolt in west London on Monday, where 24.5C has been recorded, while the mercury hovered around 20C in Blackpool and Bristol, according to a Met Office forecaster.

Temperatures are predicted to reach 25C in parts of the UK later on Monday as people enjoy the long weekend and newly restored freedoms following the lifting of many lockdown restrictions.

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Although a new benchmark for the year has been set, it is not expected to last for long, as temperatures are expected to climb to 27C (80.6F) on Wednesday before cooler, fresher air moves in.

Becky Mitchell, a meteorologist from the Met Office, warned there could be some thunderstorms on the way.

"There will potentially be some thunderstorms by midweek, the first bout of showers will come into parts of the South West and there will be a few thunderstorms in that," she said.

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The storms in the South West are expected to hit on Wednesday, with the South East due a bit of a soaking by Friday.

"There's a chance of some thundery breakdown in the South East and we could have some quite intense storms there," Ms Mitchell said.

She went on: "There's still a lot of uncertainty but with the warm and humid weather we are having we have the key ingredients for thunderstorms."

May has been the fourth wettest on record for the UK, and the wettest ever for Wales.

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