South Essex looks set to sizzle this Easter weekend.

Tomorrow marks the start of a balmy weekend, which is set to see thousands of tourists descend upon Southend - not least for the revived Southend Shakedown on Monday.

And - at this stage - the weather looks like it won't disappoint.

So whether you are relaxing in the garden at home or heading out for some Easter fun, the forecast looks promising.

Some areas in Essex could see temperatures as high as 21°C - making it hotter than Ibiza, Barcelona and Athens and on a par with Rome.

Friday will see long sunny spells across the south of the county.

Temperatures are set to steadily increase throughout the day after what could be a chilly start.

We are set to see a maximum temperature of 21°C, though experts say it will be cooler closer to the coast, possibly 18°C.

Saturday will see a slight increase in top coastal temperatures, to 20°C.

Sunday will continue in the same vein, at a positively balmy 20°C while Monday could see a slight jump to 21°C.

Steve Willington, Met Office Chief Meteorologist, said: “Temperatures will reach into the low 20s Celsius quite widely and there’s a good chance some places in the south could see temperatures peaking around 23 Celsius.

"With temperatures usually around 10 to 13 Celsius at this time of year, it’s certainly going to be significantly warmer than average this Easter weekend and quite a contrast to the colder weather we have seen so far this month.”

However, the warm and sunny weather might not stick around for everyone through the whole weekend.

Mr Willington added: “It currently looks like more changeable and cooler weather will arrive from the northwest from Easter Sunday, however there remains the chance that south eastern parts of the country could remain warm and settled into Easter Monday.

"With this uncertainty in mind, our advice is to keep up to date with the latest forecast if you are making plans.”