The hot spell in parts of Britain is set to build to a “crescendo” [Friday] as temperatures soar to a sweltering 34C (93.2F).

Wednesday saw a maximum temperature of 27C (80.6F) in the South East and parts of the Midlands and we are set for a further rise on Thursday, with highs of 29C (84.2F) predicted in London and the surrounding area.

The mercury will increase a few notches today, with a sizzling 34C (93.2F) forecast in the the South East and temperatures between 27C (80.6F) and 30C (86F) across most of England and Wales.

The warm flow of weather is coming from Spain and Portugal, where daytime temperatures have exceeded 40C (104F) in southern Spain.

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Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said: “We have got the heat building day by day. We think at the moment, although there is some uncertainty, that the weather temperatures will peak on Friday and then largely we will be in for a cooler day on Saturday.

“Heat may remain potentially into Saturday but for most parts of the UK, because we have got a cold front moving down from further north, we will see temperatures coming back down – but they may just hang on in southern England.”