The south is this week set to bask in the hottest temperatures since September, forecasters are predicting.

The Met Office says that the country will see "very warm, locally hot and at time sunny" weather this week, with temperatures likely to reach the high 20°Cs in the south by Thursday.

By Saturday, temperatures could top 30°Cs in one or two places.

The predicted spell of sunny weather comes as warm air moves in northwards from southern Europe. 

As well as warm days in many areas night-time temperatures could also be above average giving us some warm, muggy nights potentially making it difficult to sleep.

Deputy Chief Meteorologist, Dan Harris, said: “Bank Holiday Monday is still a long way off in forecast terms and there is still a lot uncertainty about what weather we can expect, and where. 

"That said over the preceding weekend it will probably become cloudier and less hot from the west with some outbreaks of rain, which could be heavy and thundery at times.  

"Eastern and south-eastern parts will more likely than not stay dry, sunny and locally hot through Saturday too and possibly beyond."

With the high temperatures and goods spells of sunshine UV levels will be high and it is important to remember to protect against sunburn.

The highest temperature recorded in the UK so far this year is 25.8C at Gravesend and Faversham on May 16. 

The UK May temperature record is 32.8C, which was recorded on May 22, 1922 in Camden Square, London and May 29, 1944, in Horsham, Tunbridge Wells and Regent's Park.