An “enormous” reservoir of warm air that has triggered emergency measures in France is due to send the mercury shooting skywards, with temperatures peaking in the UK on Saturday.
Highs of 26C are anticipated along the west coast and near Glasgow on Thursday, while temperatures will be in the low 20s for eastern areas of Scotland. The sweltering weather will see the nation surpass Los Angeles in Southern California, USA which will see highs of 24C today.
The west coast will continue to bask in the better weather on Friday, but the picture will switch around on Saturday.
Met Office forecaster Matthew Box said: “There is an enormous reservoir of warm air across Europe at the moment. On Friday we will have high pressure over the UK and low pressure out in the Atlantic, and that will bring settled weather conditions across the UK and an easterly flow of air across the southern half of the country.
“Those easterly winds are drawing that warm air from the near continent and that reservoir across the UK and that’s why we’re getting those warm temperatures.”
The blast of warm weather has led the Met Office to predict Thursday 27 June will be the hottest day of the year in Scotland so far.
In Europe, France has been bracing for the heatwave, with temporary fountains put in place and plans for public pools to stay open for longer, amid forecasts suggesting temperatures could exceed 40C this week.
The hot spell is set to be relatively short-lived in the UK, with unsettled weather moving in from the Atlantic on Sunday.