THE Met Office is set to issue its first ever extreme heat warning as Britain bakes in a 32C heatwave.
The new weather warning level is likely to be in place until Thursday night when conditions take a turn bringing thunderstorms and heavy rain.
It is anticipated the alert will cover South Wales, the West Midlands, southwest England, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
Many areas are hotter than Ibiza today as temperatures soar, with some seeing conditions hotter than 29C Nouakchott, Mauritania, on the edge of the Sahara Desert.
A tropical blast from the Atlantic has thrust the UK into the furnace with the mercury shooting up to a sizzling 32C over the weekend.
And the "Bermuda blowtorch" heatwave shows no sign of stopping as Brits look set to enjoy conditions warmer than Ibiza today.
Forecasters predict highs of 32C in southern and central England, while temperatures won't top 30C on the Spanish Balearic island.
And tomorrow and Wednesday could be even hotter, with The Weather Outlook forecasting a potential 33C in the Midlands.
It would mean Britain thrashing the weekend's record-breaking temperatures when it was even warmer than the Bahamas and Tenerife.
Both England and Wales recorded the hottest day of the year on Sunday, beating records set on Saturday.
A top temperature of 31.6C was recorded at London's Heathrow on Sunday, overtaking Saturday's scorching 30.3C in Coton in the Elms, Derbyshire.
Meanwhile, Wales saw 30.2C in Cardiff, compared with 29.6C reached in Usk, Monmouthshire, on Saturday.
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Saturday had marked the hottest day of the year for all four nations, and the hottest day since records began for Northern Ireland with 31.2C recorded in Ballywatticock, in Co Down, beating the previous highest temperature of 30.8C, which was reached on July 12, 1983, and June 30, 1976.
Met Office meteorologist Becky Mitchell said: "We could get up to 32C this week, it is possible each day for different places in the country.
"The most likely areas to get 32C are parts of the Midlands and down towards south-west England and potentially London, they are all going to see the highest temperatures in the coming days."
The Met Office is working with Public Health England to ensure that people stay safe in the hot conditions, urging the public to stay hydrated, wear sunscreen and assist anyone who is more vulnerable to the heat.
Experts have warned roads go soft from 27C, and melt at 33C, while the heat is proving too hot for trains.
Hundreds of passengers have been delayed as some train speeds are halved due to the risk of buckling in the heat.
And experts have urged Brits to head for the beach to enjoy an "onshore breeze which will keep it cooler on coasts".
But people have been warned to make the most of the heatwave as a deluge of rain and thunderstorms is forecast for later this week.
The long range forecast for next weekend suggests spells of rain or showers are likely for many areas, with temperatures easing back closer to normal.
There could even be a few scattered showers as early as this afternoon, with "a risk of isolated thundery showers" after lunch on Tuesday.
More showers are expected on Wednesday and Thursday, with the real "change" in conditions coming on Friday.
A Met Office forecaster said: "The heat could spark a few afternoon showers, these heavy and perhaps thundery."
Jim Dale, meteorologist for British Weather Services, said: "From about mid-week it looks like the high pressure will give way and as is usual after periods of very hot weather we could see something livelier in the way of downpours."
And Brian Gaze from The Weather Outlook said: "The fine weather probably continues in most of the UK on Thursday.
"Scattered showers continue to be a risk, but long sunny periods mean temperatures once again could exceed 30C.
"During the rest of the week the risk of thundery showers increases.
"Later on downpours or longer spells of rain could become more widespread and it probably turns cooler."
Bookies have slashed the odds on UK temperatures reaching a whopping 35C this week.
As the heatwave continues, Ladbrokes has cut the odds to just 3/1 that the thermometer hits 35C anywhere in the UK before the end of the week.
Jessica O'Reilly of Ladbrokes said: "Freedom Day coupled with the heatwave is sure to see plenty of workers pulling sickies this week, and it wouldn't be a huge surprise to see temperatures surpass 35C."
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