BRITAIN is set to roast in the hottest summer for 12 years with temperatures hitting a sizzling 33C.
However, the extreme heat has also sparked fears of a drought as the country looks to swelter in the heat between late June and August.
However, the current high temperatures and unseasonal lack of rainfall has already started becoming a cause for concern in parts of the country, with parts of the Lake District already drying up.
Photos from Sunday show how drastically low water levels have become at Thirlmere Reservoir near the market town of Keswick, following limited rainfall across the North West of England in past weeks.
Sun worshippers are likely to get a taste the impending heatwave in the early part of this week with sub-tropical air from the Azores warming things up with highs of 23C and bright sunshine in the south.
Later in the week though showers are expected in the north-west with a "European monsoon" expected.
The Weather Company predicted temperatures would soar to 33C from late June, making the summer the hottest since 2006.
Met Office records show Britain’s average summer temperature is 14.3C.
There is double the usual probability of this summer having a higher temperature than 2013’s 15.17C - which would make 2018 the warmest summer since 2006 - the hottest summer for a century.
Bookmakers Ladbrokes cut odds on summer being the hottest on record to the shortest odds ever offered – just 5/2.
Spokesman Alex Apati said: “Punters and weathermen believe Britain will wilt. Odds on a record summer are shorter than ever.”
The Met Office is warning emergency services, transport leaders, business chiefs and councils of the risks of a hotter-than-normal three months ahead.
Britain is set to wilt due to high pressure, which brings hot and dry conditions, the Met Office said.
Last year saw grim school holidays spoil summer, summer 2014 was ruined by rain following ex-Hurricane Bertha, and 2012 had the wettest summer for 100 years.
But 2009 was a hot summer – and the 2006 summer sizzler saw a peak of 36.5C on July 19, at Wisley, Surrey.
The Met Office June-August forecast said: “For June-August, above-average temperatures are more likely than below-average temperatures.
“The probability the UK average temperature for June-August will fall into the warmest of our five categories is 40 percent.
“The coldest of our five categories is around 5 percent.
“The likelihood of above-average temperatures is greater than usual. The Met Office long-range prediction system shows a slightly increased chance of high-pressure patterns across the UK.”
The Weather Outlook forecaster Brian Gaze said: “The warmest summer since 2006 is a possibility, after recent years saw a series of disappointing summers.
“The June to August period only needs to be 1C above average for it to happen.”
Leon Brown, head of meteorological operations at The Weather Channel, owned by The Weather Company, said: “33C is expected by early July as heat from high pressure over Britain builds.”
Met Office forecaster Helen Roberts said: “There's plenty of sunshine to come this week, with the South generally fine through the week, although the North-West will be changeable from Wednesday.
“There is a signal for a gradual return to more settled weather through the end of June. Temperatures are likely to be warmer than average, with the possibility of very warm or hot spells.”
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