The Met Office has played down rumours of “African plumes” bringing 35C weather to the UK this summer, however they have said there is an “increased chance” of heatwaves.

A forecast from Exacta Weather had said temperatures could regularly rise into the 30s this summer as hot air masses swept up from Africa.

Honor Criswick, a Met Office meteorologist, said the event would be “unprecedented, but not impossible.”

Speaking to The Independent, she said: “We had a similar set-up last summer, though there were additional factors at play, with a high to the east of the UK bringing hot air up from the south/southeast.”

Clydebank Post: The Met Office say African Plumes would be “unprecedented, but not impossible.”The Met Office say African Plumes would be “unprecedented, but not impossible.” (Image: Paul-Briden/Getty)

Ms Criswick said there was “some uncertainty” with the predictions, as there always is with long-range forecasts, but added that there is a “greater than normal chance” of heatwaves this summer.

She added that the rising temperatures were “consistent with our warming climate”, saying: “Outlook forecasts are for the average conditions over the UK as a whole, for the period as a whole, so we can expect regional variations.

“So far for May, there is a higher than normal chance of warmer temperatures, however near average or cool conditions remain possible. Looking ahead into June and July, the chance of it being hot is higher than normal however near average temperatures remains the most likely outcome.

“There is also a greater than normal chance of impacts from hot weather such as heatwaves.

“The increased chance of warm conditions through the period is consistent with our warming climate.

“Whilst this doesn’t necessarily mean a heatwave will occur, it does increase the likelihood of this compared to normal.”

The current Met Office long-range forecast for the UK, says that between May 29 and June 12 we can expect drier weather and higher temperatures.

It says: “The most likely scenario for the end of May is for drier weather in the north, with an increased chance of periods of rain and possibly thunder in the south and southwest.

“Into June, high pressure is predicted to remain dominant, especially for northern areas, with cloud, rain and showers more likely to the south, although there is a level of uncertainty associated with this.

“An increased likelihood of above average temperatures for many.”