Britain set for sunny, warm Sunday

Hampshire Chronicle: A Red Squirrel tries to take some nuts from a bird feeder in Kielder Forest, Northumberland A Red Squirrel tries to take some nuts from a bird feeder in Kielder Forest, Northumberland

Britain is set to bask in the highest temperatures of the year so far tomorrow - warmer than some holiday spots in the Mediterranean, according to forecasters.

The Met Office says temperatures will reach 18C (64.4F) in parts of England - and "exceptionally mild" for the time of year and above places such as Greece and Turkey.

Today's highest temperature was recorded at 16.6C (61.9F) at around 2pm in St James's Park in central London, according to weather service provider MeteoGroup.

And after the wettest winter on record in England and Wales, the rain is set to stay away in the coming week due to a band of high pressure across Britain.

Calum MacColl, a meteorologist at the Met Office, said: "Across much of England and Wales tomorrow it will be a really nice day with plenty of sunshine.

"In the area north of London and up towards Lincolnshire we could see temperatures around 17C (62.6F) to 18C (64.4F), which would be the warmest day this year and exceptionally mild for the time of the year."

"Usually at this time of year the average temperature is around 12C (53.6F)," added Mr MacColl.

Other parts of England such as North Devon and Merseyside will also be pushing towards 17C (62.6F), according to the Met Office.

The warmest temperature recorded so far this year was 16.9C (62.4F) at Heathrow Airport yesterday.

Temperatures are expected to recede back towards 14C (57.2F) from Monday.

"There will be some heavy outbreaks around south Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England tomorrow, which will push south and give a cloudier feel around the South of England, who may also see light drizzle. But there's lots of dry weather to be had for the rest of the week," said Mr MacColl.

"Areas around the Black Sea such as inland Greece will be struggling to get into double figures."

The balmy weather has already forced some British supermarkets into getting strawberries on to their shelves early.

A spokesman for retailer Waitrose said: "While the wet weather has caused havoc for many, milder temperatures have resulted in an earlier harvest than usual, with English strawberries available a week earlier than 2013."

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