BRITS will bask in sunshine seeing the country treated to temperatures higher than Sicily but will first have to endure the bitter frost.
Weather forecasters have predicted an early taste of summer as it could hit 18C next week in the UK – warmer than the Italian temperatures of 14C.
It could be the start of a blistering run up to summer as the UK gears up for a ‘flaming June’, according to some experts.
Friday will signal a change to warmer weather across most of the country although Scotland and parts of the north will see further unsettled conditions.
Temperatures could hit the low 20Cs next week although clear, cloudless skies will bring some chilly nights.
Met Office spokeswoman Nicola Maxey said: “As we go through to the end of the week we will start to see temperatures begin to edge up although there will still be the risk of showers and some heavy, thundery outbreaks.
“Saturday will be a fine and dry although it will be cold overnight with the risk of frosts quite widely as temperatures dip to -4C or -5C.
“High pressure builds into Sunday and this will deflect any low pressure systems to the north of the UK where there will be a chance of further heavy rain and strong winds.
“Temperatures will continue to rise through next week and we could see 19C widely across the south with highs of up to 23C possible.
“With high pressure we expect blue skies and sunshine and thereafter the rest of May is looking largely dry with temperatures around where they should be for the time of year.”
After the coldest May Bank Holiday on record was followed by heavy rain and wind, Britain could be about to bake in a glorious run up to summer.
Temperatures could rocket beyond the high 20Cs before the end of this month, according to Exacta Weather forecaster James Madden.
He said: “There is the potential for an early switch to summer-like weather this year after the unsettled and cooler start to May.
“This is most likely from around mid-month and possibly slightly earlier across southern regions.
“Most if not all of the country can look forward to several lengthy and widespread periods of warm weather with ample wall-to-wall sunshine from mid-May onwards bringing an early taste of summer.
“High pressure will stay in charge through the start of the meteorological summer and on current indications we could be looking at a flaming June with temperatures in the mid to high-20Cs at least.”
A weather forecaster for The Weather Company said temperatures will rise above average for the time of year after the weekend.
They added: “Wet and windy weather will continue through the remainder of this week with temperatures slightly below the seasonal average, feeling cooler in the wind for northern and western areas.
“Over the weekend and into next week, it will progressively turn drier with temperatures climbing closer to the seasonal average.
“Early next week and through the remainder of that week it will be dry and sunny for the most part with temperatures for Ireland and northern Britain tending slightly above the seasonal average.”
Bookies at Coral are saying odds-on at 4-5 for this summer to be the hottest on record in the UK.
We were spoiled with a glorious summer last year and the betting suggests we are set for an even hotter one in 2019,” said Coral’s John Hill.
“With torrential downpours continuing to fall across the UK, the odds have been cut on this month ending as the wettest May on record,” added Hill.