Parts of the UK will see the mercury tip 20C today, but forecasters say be sure to enjoy it while it lasts — at least for a week or so.
An Arctic chill is expected to hit Britain in the second half of the week as temperatures drop sharply for the May Bank Holiday weekend.
The patchy cloud will fade away today in England and Wales, as much of the country basks in long periods of blue skies, the Met Office says.
This will send thermometers soaring to the high teens and even 20C in places, the weather agency said.
Light winds will also add to the unseasonably warm feeling in the air across the rest of Tuesday.
“28C would not be a surprise later in May”
Brian Glaze, forecaster, Weather Outlook
But the picture is not all cheery, with thick cloud and heavy rain across Northern Ireland and western Scotland.
And as the week goes on, conditions are expected to worsen, with a sharp drop on Friday as Arctic air plunges southwards.
Widespread frost and even a dusting of sleet could hit much of cotland and the north of England.
Temperatures on Friday and Saturday are unlikely to get above the low to mid-teens, weather experts have warned.
It’s not all doom and gloom, however, with the long-term picture expected to be far warmer and sunnier.
The Met Office’s long-range three-month weather forecast sees the rest of May lining up to be a sizzler, with highs in the late 20s.
Weather Outlook forecaster Brian Glaze said: “28C would not be a surprise later in May, with warm air expected to arrive from southern Europe, known as a ‘Spanish plume’.”
Met Office meteorologist Sarah Kent added: “The forecast is based on probabilities that are averaged over the whole three-month period.”
She went on: “It’s not saying hot days, necessarily, it might mean milder nights, for instance.”