A heatwave out of Africa and an area of high pressure moving in from the Azores could bake Britain later this month.

The Met Office is predicting “above average” temperatures for the second half of August, with hot air from travelling up from Africa and high pressure from the Azores creating a sizzling end to the summer.

And Weather Outlook forecaster Brian Gaze said: “There are tentative signs of an improvement in the middle third of August.

“High pressure may build towards the UK from the Azores, but there is a lot of uncertainty about this.

"The driest weather will probably be in the south and east, but a heightened risk of heavy showers or thunderstorms means local variations could be large. Temperatures should be above average, aggregated over the period.

“In the second half, the chance of settled and very warm periods increases.”

The Met Office’s forecast predicts “a drier and warmer than average period from the middle of August” – which should delight Britons holidaying at home. But before that, more downpours and showers are predicted over much of the UK over the next two weeks.

It will be hotter than average from the middle of August, the Met Office says (


Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)

And the thermometer will struggle to rise above 21C.

Met Office meteorologist Dan Stroud said: “It is pretty grim out there especially this week. Thursday is not looking like a nice day, almost autum-nal in terms of rain. But there is a signal from roughly August 10 to 11 for dryer conditions to become more prevalent. Temperatures will be below normal at first but tending to be above average from mid-month, especially across the north.

“There is an indication it is going to start to dry up and high pressure will start to dominate.”

Today and tomorrow are expected to be this week’s driest days with showers becoming more widespread on Wednesday.

Low pressure on Thursday will bring heavy rain to much of the UK. Southern Europe is enduring temperatures of 40C and above.