Dust off the deckchair and slap on the sun cream because today's a scorcher

This giant deckchair was supposed to mark the start of British Summer Time at the weekend.

But summer came early on Bournemouth Beach today as temperatures soared close to 19C delighting those who were lucky enough to take advantage of the unusually mild weather.

Tomorrow is set to be even hotter and could be the hottest day of the year so far with the mercury hitting 21C in parts of the country.

That's more than double the average temperature for March and as hot as Spain, Portugal, Turkey and Bermuda. By midday today temperatures had risen to 18.7C in Middle Wallop, Hampshire. Met Office officials say they could rise further throughout the day.

The unusually balmy temperatures will continue into next week, with little rain forecast. 'It is very warm for March, we’re usually looking at a maximum temperature of 11 or 12C at this time of year,' said Helen Chivers, of the Met Office.

'We expect tomorrow may be the hottest day of the year so far with temperatures in the Thames Valley and Bristol hitting 20C or even 21C.' Those lucky enough to be off work have been flocking to Britain’s parks and beaches to make the most of the warm weather.


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