Balmy weather in the south of England saw conditions come close to the hottest of the year so far, but the top temperature was missed by “a smidgen”.
The mercury rose to 23.3C (73.9F) at St James’s Park in London on Friday, just shy of the 23.4C (74.1F) recorded on April 15 at the same location, the Met Office said.
Warm conditions are expected to continue into the weekend in the south and east of England.
A high of 23C is possible again on Monday, according to the Met Office, with temperatures in the high teens for much of that area.
But while some will enjoy above-average temperatures, cloud conditions and rain are expected to move across the country, the forecaster said.
Asked about the expectation that Friday would be the hottest day of the year so far, meteorologist Dan Stroud said: “We missed it by a smidgen.”
The forecaster suggested it is “less likely” a new high will be reached over the weekend, but added that he “wouldn’t rule it out completely”.
“We’re thinking at the moment we’re going to see a legacy of cloud and outbreaks of rain clear in the south-east on Saturday morning and then brightening up from the north and the west,” he said.
“Some decent sunny spells and feeling rather warm in the sunshine across many areas of England and Wales.
“Temperatures a bit cooler further north, closer to the seasonal average in Northern Ireland and Scotland.”
Next week is “a bit of a mixed bag”, Mr Stroud said.
He added: “We’re going to see temperatures generally above average for a good portion of next week but the caveat will be that there will be bands of cloud and rain around at times so it’s not plain sailing unfortunately all the way through.
“There is a hint that we might see something warmer towards the back end of next week and running into the following weekend but that’s a long way off.”
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