Temperatures will soar to 22 C today with the sizzling weather expected to continue throughout the weekend.

The unseasonally warm weather beats Mediterranean destinations Malta, Athens and Barcelona which are expected to reach between only 18-20 C.

The hot weather will no doubt see Brits flocking to the coast, burning sausages on the barbie, and stripping down to their scanties as the mercury level breaks this year’s previous record set at 20.3C  in Chelmsford, Essex, last Saturday.

Meteorologists predict that today could be just the beginning of a prolonged period of lovely weather which could last through April and May.

Met Office forecaster Andrew Sibley told the Daily Mail: ‘Today will possibly be the warmest day this year” (we think he means “so far this year”)  “with warm, dry weather and sunny spells across much of England, Wales and eastern Scotland.”

“It warms up again for the weekend, with temperatures in the upper 60s or higher on both Saturday and Sunday.”

“There will be sunny spells and broken clouds, although one or two localised sharp showers late on Saturday

Temperatures at this time of the year are usually around 12C and come with a side of  showers.

The warm weather is just in time for the Grand National at Aintree at the weekend but the 36,000 London marathon runners set to complete the 42 km race in London on April 17  can let out a sigh of relief – temperatures are expected to drop again by then.