PREDICTIONS of a heatwave later this week look set be thwarted as severe wind and squalls of rain dampen hopes of a great British summer.
The Met Office has warned that an unseasonably wet and windy spell will continue, despite bookmakers having slashed the odds on Britain enjoying the hottest June on record.
Despite suggestions that this weekend will bring blazing sunshine, forecasters say the unsettled weather looks set to stay.
Yellow wind warnings have been issued for all areas of Scotland apart from Orkney and Shetland until tomorrow evening, with strong gusts expected in coastal areas.
Although Wednesday will see some sunny spells, the picture will remain one of cloudy conditions, breezy winds and scattered showers.
A Met Office spokesman said the low pressure coming across the UK will bring strong winds - gusts of 40 to 50mph “fairly widely,” with 60 to 70mph gales expected in some areas.
Asked if the prospect of a heatwave was realistic, he added: “I wouldn’t say that there’s a heatwave on the way. No.”
Heavy rainfall of up to 20 to 40mm is expected in northern and western areas tonight, along with an increased chance of disruption to to high wind speeds.
Although weather will become “more settled” towards the end of the week, Scotland looks set to miss out on the good spell. .
In parts of England, temperatures are expected to reach 22C on Thursday, and mid-20s on Friday and Saturday, with a chance that the mercury could hit 26C in one or two places.
North of the border, however, the temperatures are unlikely to tip 20C, with predictions of 15C in Edinburgh and 14C in Glasgow and west coast. on Friday
The spokesman added: “There’s also some heavy rain associated with that low pressure through Tuesday. It’s a pretty unsettled start to the summer.
Even in parts of the UK where the rain and wind will die away, widespread blue skies are not likely as a result of cloud cover.
He explained: “It’s certainly not a case that we’re getting wall to wall blue skies across the UK on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or even Saturday. It is going to be pretty pleasant weather nevertheless, for at least the southern half of the UK.
“There are going to be bright spells, it is going to be dry, the winds are going to have backed off quite a lot and the temperature’s going to build.”
However, he cautioned that the improving conditions does not mean there will be “a switch to tropical weather by any means.”
The Met Office said that, given the unseasonable nature of the winds, the public should be aware of the potential for disruption to transport and outdoor activities.
One leading bookmaker suggested June “could be the hottest in British history.”
Coral has cut the odds on Britain having the hottest June since records began in 1910 to 3-1 from 5-1 amid predictions that a heatwave will sweep the nation.
The firm has given odds of 10-1 that the UK mainland temperature exceeds 37.8C while it is 12-1 that the UK record temperature high of 38.5C is broken.
There is good news for fans of Andy Murray, however, as Coral is giving odds of 6-1 that Wimbledon will be entirely rain-free this year.