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Towards the end of this week and through into the weekend, the UK could experience the hottest February day since records began!

Temperatures on Saturday have been predicted to hit the high teens or even 20C, which would break the current record of 19.7C set in 1988. The usual maximum temperature in February is around 8C.

Met Office meteorologist, Bonnie Diamond, said: “For the rest of the week, temperatures will steadily build, with a body of high pressure moving over from the continent.

“Wind is coming from a south, south-westerly direction, which is generally quite mild, and we’ll have a lot of sunshine and warmth.

“That combination means we’re looking at temperatures around 17 or even 18 in some parts of the UK.”

The warmer weather is sweeping in from Northern Africa and the Canary Islands on a ‘Saharan plume’. Warm air is set to bring sunshine and mild conditions to the UK after a wet and cloudy beginning to the week, with the south and east said to be most likely to record the highest temperatures with the northwest being more changeable, with the risk of gales.

Milder weather this winter has already seen families enjoying beaches and parks and could mean that gardens go into bloom earlier. Valentine’s day was the hottest for over 20 years and last week, a reading of 17.5C was taken in north-east Wales, which was the highest so far this month.

This time last year the ‘Beast from the East’ had arrived, which brought unusually low temperatures and heavy snowfall before a record-breaking summer. However, this year the winter has been milder which has led to the odds of an even hotter summer being slashed.

After the weekend, dry and sunny conditions are likely to continue through to the end of February, although temperatures may become closer to normal, with possible overnight frosts.

Looking ahead, this summer is predicted to be one of the fifth hottest on record and last week it was confirmed that ‘El Nino’ had returned. ‘El Nino’ is a natural climate pattern where seawater in the Pacific Ocean is warmer than normal. The impact is difficult to predict for the UK but can lead to hotter and drier conditions than normal.