Caribbean hot air could raise UK temperatures higher than Mediterranean spots
A blast of Caribbean hot air could push UK temperatures over that of Menorca, Majorca and Sardinia next week.
The air mass is set to continue the unseasonable warmth of the last week as parts of the UK prepare for highs of 17C on Monday, following a spell of mild weather.
The cloud of hot air is making its way over the Atlantic Ocean from Florida and parts of the Caribbean, and is expected to reach the British Isles over the weekend, the Met Office said.
Aberdeen, Wattisham and London are all tipped as likely locations for the highest temperatures, with the east of the country broadly enjoying the best of the warmth.
The rise could make the UK among the hottest locations in Europe, following bouts of snow and freezing temperatures that took hold earlier this month.
Despite bringing British temperatures above the average 4-7C (39.2F-44.6F) for this time of year, the expected rise will not be record-breaking by official measures.
Met Office spokesman Oli Claydon told the Press Association: "In terms of temperatures it is going to be around 16C to 17C (60F to 62F) and more broadly it will be mild across the east and north east of the country.
"Although obviously above average, it’s not necessarily unusual.
"In February 2012, around 50 stations recorded temperatures of 15C (59F) and over and we’re not expecting that many to record the same next week."
Mr Claydon said the warm spell is expected to last into the middle of next week, before turning cooler into next weekend.
He said: "It should be continuing through next week but not necessarily through to the temperatures seen on Monday."
MeteoGroup said temperatures may only reach highs of 15C (59F), although this is likely to be enough to push the UK above parts of southern Europe, including the Balearic Islands and Sardinia.
MeteoGroup Forecaster Tom Whittaker said: "Generally speaking, it’s going to be close, but we may see temperatures of 15C (59F), which could be higher than places like Palma in Majorca, and parts of southern France.
"It’s likely to be warmest in the east, south east and eastern parts of Scotland, to the east of the Highlands."
The hottest February on record remains that of 1998, when temperatures hit 19.7C (67.5F).