The UK is set to enjoy the hottest weekend of the year, with forecasters predicting temperatures of up to 33C.
The southeast of England was most likely to experience the warmest weather of the year so far on Saturday afternoon during England’s World Cup match against Sweden, which kicks off at 3pm.
On Sunday the area around Bristol is tipped to beat the 2018 records of 32.2C for England and 33C for the UK as a whole.
Porthmadog in Wales is the current record-holder for the year, reaching 33C exactly on June 28.
“If we don’t get it today there is a good chance tomorrow, maybe even a smidgeon higher,” Met Office spokesman Simon Partridge said.
The heatwave is causing problems for water companies who are struggling to meet increased demand.
A hosepipe ban has been in force in Northern Ireland for eight days, with around 140 people reported to have flouted it so far.
United Utilities, which serves the North West, said it “urgently needed help and support” to stop a ban from coming into force.
Affinity Water, supplying parts of northwest London and the Home Counties, is also asking customers to keep their usage to a minimum.
Thames Water is advising people to save water by taking shorter showers and cutting down on watering their lawns and cleaning their cars.
The company has told its own staff not to wash their fleet of 1,600 vehicles “unless completely necessary”.
Forecasters are also warning of “Very High” UV levels due to the lack of cloud cover and are advising that a shirt, sunscreen and hat are “essential” between 11am and 3pm.
Temperatures are expected to drop early next week – though only into the mid or high 20s.
“It is still above average for the time of year, but perhaps a bit of respite from that intense heat that we’ve been seeing in places,” said Met Office spokeswoman Nicola Maxey.
The Met Office has issued a level 3 “Heatwave Action” alert, which requires social healthcare services to “target specific actions at high-risk groups” such as the elderly.
Their advice reads: “Stay out of the sun. Keep your home as cool as possible – shading windows and shutting them during the day may help. Open them when it is cooler at night. Keep drinking fluids.
“If there’s anybody you know, for example an older person living on their own, who might be at special risk, make sure they know what to do
The Met Office said the highest temperature reached on Friday was 31.4C.
Faversham in Kent experienced the UK’s highest ever recorded temperature of 38.5C in 2003.
Additional reporting by Press Association.