Published: 08:38, 27 March 2021
| Updated: 13:11, 27 March 2021
Kent is set to bask in a heatwave next week as forecasters say the UK could break its record high March temperature.
Parts of the UK will be hotter than Saint Tropez and Ibiza as the mercury could rise to 24C in south-east England by Tuesday.
It would be only the second day in March that the temperature has reached this high in records going back to 1884.
The maximum temperature recorded in March was 25.6C (78F), on March 29, 1968, at Mepal in Cambridgeshire.
In Kent, the mercury is set to rise to 18C on Tuesday, with similar sunny weather on Wednesday.
The warm temperatures will come as lockdown restrictions are loosened from Monday in the next stage of the Prime Minister's roadmap out of lockdown.
People across Kent will be allowed to meet in groups of six and play a few rounds of tennis just in time for the bright weather.
Met Office forecaster, Greg Dewhurst, told the PA news agency: “The weekend should be a mixed bag for many with a big north-south split.
“Southern regions will certainly see the warmer, sunnier conditions with a band of rain moving through Northern Ireland on Saturday afternoon before heading into parts of northern England and Scotland.
“Saturday will certainly be the better of the two days, with Sunday becoming windy and grey for most.”
Mr Dewhurst said southerly winds along with an area of high pressure would move in on Monday.
He added: “Into next week large swathes of southern England and Wales will be dry with warmer temperatures than expected for this time of year, the average for March being 11-12C.
“The mercury could reach a high of around 18C on Monday, with Tuesday seeing highs of 24C (75.2F).
“Much of the UK will remain dry and bright until Wednesday, while parts of Scotland will see some heavy showers.”
Conditions are expected to change again from the middle of the week, the Met Office said, with cold air from the north bringing another dip in temperatures for Easter weekend.
The coldest Easter weekend on record was in 2013 when minus 12.5C was recorded at Braemar in Aberdeenshire, on Easter Sunday, while the wettest as in 1991 when 108.7mm of rainfall was recorded at Seatoller, in Cumbria, on Easter Monday.