Showers put dampener on heat hopes

Showers and cloud prevented Sunday from being the hottest day of the year.

Temperatures looked set to come close to Saturday's 2012 high but were washed out by a heavy mid-afternoon band of rain that brought some respite to large chunks of baking Britain.

On Saturday the mercury reached a sweltering 32.4C (90.32F) at Cavendish, in Suffolk, and forecasters believed Sunday could eclipse even that.

But the highest temperature recorded was still way above average at 30.2C (86.36F) in Cambridge. The South East was the hottest part of the country with most areas recording temperatures in the high 20s.

Around the country sun lovers enjoyed slightly less hot conditions with highs of 24C (75.2F) in Exeter and Altnaharra, Scotland, and 25C (77F) in the Humber.

Gareth Harvey, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the Press Association's weather division, said: "Today the slight dip in temperature was caused by an unstable area bringing more cloud and some showers. The temperatures are not far off yesterday's but the cloud pegged them back so there was not as much sunshine as yesterday."

The average temperature in the south-east of England for this time of year is 21.6C (70.88F), and though Monday will be less hot than this weekend the weather will still be good. Mr Harvey said the South East will see temperatures of 25C and it will be less humid than in recent days.

This weekend's mini heatwave saw thousands flocking to seaside locations and filling public parks to soak up the rays.

The bookmaker William Hill offered odds of 16/1 that temperatures will top 100F during the Paralympics.

"Temperature backers have not had much of a run for their money this summer but that could all be about to change as the mercury looks set to rise," said Hill's spokesman Rupert Adams. The mini heatwave also led to Ladbrokes slashing the odds of the temperature soaring to 100F before the end of the month to 10/1 from 20/1.