Balmy temperatures over the Easter holiday could kick off six-week run of hot weather and glorious sunshine, some forecasts claim.
Britons will bask in warm air from continental Europe and the Azores off the coast of Portugal as two high-pressure systems converge and cool air from Scandinavia retreats.
Temperatures could be 10C warmer than usual for this time of year, with the Met Office predicting highs of about 24C on Good Friday and Saturday, and lengthy periods of sunshine.
Some weather models suggest the trend of above average warmth will continue through the end of the month and into May, making the UK warmer than some of Europe's top holiday destinations.
Until then, Tuesday will be mostly cloudy with the best sunshine in the east.
Rain in Northern Ireland, southwest England and western Scotland will move eastwards and become patchier.
The north will be breezy and chilly under cloud, while the south will see temperatures as warm as 15C.
UV levels will be moderate in most places, while the pollen level will be high in the southeast.
In the evening, the rain will ease over western southern and central areas and it will remain cloudy, with low cloud, mist and fog patches, the Met Office said.
Most places will be dry with plenty of sunshine on Wednesday as temperatures climb into the high teens.
Eastern England could see some afternoon showers.
Thursday will be largely dry with more sunshine and warmth, and very warm conditions are expected in southern and western areas on Friday.
The UK could be hotter than St Tropez in the south of France, the Greek island of Corfu, Bodrum in southern Turkey, Spanish tourism hotspot Marbella, and the island of Majorca, which is to be cloudy on Saturday and Sunday.
London and sheltered areas in the sun across the south east could see temperatures of up to 22-23C, the hottest in the country, and even warmer than the expected high of 20C in Marbella over the weekend.
Temperatures could peak at 24C in places with prolonged sunshine.
Cardiff may hit 21C on Saturday, the same across areas in Northern Ireland, as Glasgow and Aberdeen will be around 20C, despite the UK average of 11.5C for this time of year.
Forecaster Simon Partridge said Good Friday will be pleasant before the mercury rises to exceed 20C in areas on Saturday and Sunday.
Some places could see ten hours of non-stop sunshine.
Clouds could usher in some cooler temperatures in the north and some parts of the east coast on Easter Sunday, the cooler of the two days.
Mr Partridge said: "After there was a chilly spell this weekend, we are going to see temperatures gradually increase through the week.
"By the weekend we could see in parts of the country temperatures of around 20C, or just above."
The highest temperature ever recorded for an Easter weekend is 27.8C (82F) which occurred in two different years.
The first was in Heathrow, west London and Mildenhall, Suffolk in 1949 and the second was recorded Wisley, Surrey in 2011.
Above average warmth could go on for about six weeks, the Express reported.
“Temperatures into May will probably be near or slightly above average," the Met Office said in its extended forecast.
Exacta Weather forecaster James Madden said warmer-than-usual temperatures could continue into the start of summer.
He told the Express: “Later in April we are likely to see some further potentially substantial warm spells and these will continue at times through May.
“This will pave the way for what could be a warm start to summer, although this comes with some caveats sue to deviations in the jet stream.”
Met Office five-day weather forecast
It will be mostly cloudy, with some brightness in the east.
Early rain in Northern Ireland, southwest England and western Scotland will spread a little further eastwards, and become patchier.
Breezy in the north, and chilly under the cloud.
Rain over western, southern and central areas will ease.
Staying cloudy, with some low cloud, mist and fog patches in southern, western and central parts.
Chilly, with light winds.
Early low cloud will soon clear.
Most places will be dry, with plenty of sunshine.
Risk of isolated afternoon showers in eastern England.
Feeling much warmer than of late.
Thursday to Saturday
Staying largely dry, with increasing amounts of sunshine.
By Friday it will become much warmer, with very warm conditions in some southern and western areas, but colder near eastern coasts.