The Met Office said the mercury reached 17.5C in the village of Wiggonholt in West Sussex on Friday, while it hit 17C in Gogerddan in Cardiganshire, Wales. BBC Weather’s Louise Lear said the hot weather is expected to continue on Saturday. She said: “We have blue skies, we have plenty of sunshine to watch.
“Wind direction plays a key role and one of the reasons is that the North Sea is quite cold at this time of year.
“We’re looking at around 7C or 8C and so that’s going to impact how the weather feels.
“There will still be plenty of sunshine, but on the exposed east coasts and possibly in the south-west, we are expecting around 12°C.
“With some shelter away from that brisk east wind, we could see 16C quite widely across England and Wales to the west.
READ MORE: How hot will it be this weekend? Sun here to stay ahead of the heat wave
“But in the north we might see highs of around 18C.”
Temperatures are forecast to rise by 15-18C across the UK – levels well above average for March.
The highest temperatures will be reached in the northwest of Scotland, where the mercury could reach 20C in some sheltered valleys.
Many places will be milder than Ibiza, where temperatures of 16°C are forecast.
Forecaster Richard Miles told the PA News Agency it would be “very nice and warm” and “sunny for a lot of people”.
The pleasant conditions are due to the jet stream heading well north of the UK, leaving the high pressure to dominate from the east, he explained.
The high pressure is centered on Denmark, which is set to see its highest ever pressure record, the Met Office said.
However, gusty winds will blow over southern England, northern Ireland and western Scotland, which could make it a little cooler than the high temperatures suggest.
DO NOT MISS
BBC Weather: Mercury is set to soar this weekend with highs of 20C [VIDEO]
Brits brace for 10cm of snow with spring snowfall [INSIGHT]
The Met Office issues a yellow fog warning [ANALYSIS]
The high pressure is expected to move away from Britain on Sunday, and although temperatures are still expected to be in the double digits, the day is expected to be slightly cooler and cloudier.
A few showers are also possible in the south east of England, but dry weather should prevail everywhere else with sunshine especially in the western regions.
Mr Miles said it would be ‘a bit cooler on Sunday, Monday, then the high pressure would kick in again and things would calm down from Tuesday onwards’.
“It’s safe to say that the high will continue to dominate for certainly the first half of next week,” he said, indicating clearer skies and sunshine.