Britain could bask in temperatures hotter than Australia at the weekend, forecasters have predicted.

The Met Office says the mercury could hit 18C on Saturday, making it unseasonably warm for this time of year.

The hottest February day on record is 19.7C, set back in 1998.

Parts of the UK could also top the temperatures in Barcelona, Athens and Istanbul.

Warm temperatures will be coming up from the south, and high pressure around the country means it will be sunny over the weekend.

Forecaster Mark Wilson told Mirror Online: "As we head towards the last part of the week more and more places will turn dry with increased amounts of sunshine.

"With warm air coming from the south it could reach 18C in one or two places, which is very good for this time of year."

Parts of Tasmania in Australia will be slightly cooler than the UK over the weekend, with highs of 17C predicted.

The Met Office’s five day forecast states: "Wednesday will be wet and windy in the northwest, but drier and brighter further south. Dry and sunny weather will dominate later this week, and it will become very mild."

Writing on Twitter , Channel 4 weather forecaster Liam Dutton said: "Signs that impressively warm air is likely to surge towards the UK and Ireland later next week.

"If it happens, there’s a chance that the record for the UK’s warmest February day (19.7C) could be challenged.

"For context, the same airmass in summer would give temps around 25-28C!"

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