TORRENTIAL rain and thunder is set to batter Britain this week ahead of a blistering 30C Bank Holiday heatwave.
Much of the country will be affected by cool temperatures and showers over the next three days, weather forecasters say.
There will be "quite a few showers around" today, with northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland expected to see the most rain.
Met Office meteorologist Emma Smith said: "We have got a risk of a rumble of thunder or two."
Showers will continue in northern areas of the UK until Friday, with isolated outbreaks of rain also expected in some southern areas before high pressure moves in.
A miserable August has so far seen 94mm of rainfall across the UK - about five per cent above the national average for the whole month.
But the mercury will start to creep up again by the end of this week - when southerly winds blow into England and Wales.
A "tropical heat surge" will then rescue summer by August Bank Holiday weekend - with temperatures set to nudge 30C (86F).
A Met Office spokesman said: "Conditions will remain unsettled over the next three days, with showers likely across the UK, particularly in the North East of England and South Eastern Scotland.
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"But an area of high pressure will move across the south by Friday, which will see some nice weather for those making plans for the Bank Holiday weekend. The warmest weather will be in the South of England, where we could see temperatures reach 27-28C, or even up to 30C."
Skies will steadily clear from midweek with warmer weather settling in by Friday - cheering Brits up after storm-hit August put this summer on track to be the wettest for seven years.
The Met Office forecasts decent 22C sunny spells for all by Thursday as showers ease in the South and East.
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And the mercury is set to rise by the long weekend - with high pressure set to bring subtropical air from the Azores.
The North and West will still see showers at times.
But the Met Office forecasts three weeks of mainly warm and dry conditions for many for the last week of August and first half of September.
Temperatures pushing 30C are forecast by The Weather Outlook and ex-BBC and Met Office forecaster John Hammond of weathertrending.
A total of 272mm of rain fell between June 1 and August 15, Met Office figures show.
With rainfall to add from the second half of August, a total of over 315mm would make this summer the wettest since 2012's wettest summer for 100 years - when 379mm fell.
Met Office forecaster Sarah Kent said: “August 31 to September 14 has signs high pressure will increasingly dominate.
"Temperatures are likely to be warmer than average.”
The Weather Outlook forecaster Brian Gaze said: “August has been shocking but summer is poised to be rescued by high pressure pulling up subtropical air from the Azores by the Bank Holiday weekend.
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“Highs approaching 30C are expected into September.”
Ex-BBC and Met Office forecaster John Hammond of weathertrending said: “Summer lurched from hot to cool and wet, but warmer weather in time for the Bank Holiday will lift the mood of weather-beaten Brits.
“Temperatures should be not far from 30C for some at the end of August.”
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