Weather experts have given their verdict for the rest of the month amid reports Essex is on the brink of its first "heatwave" of the year.

After a cold and rainy start to June, settled weather will bring “more summer-like” conditions to much of the UK particularly towards the end of this week, the Met Office has predicted.

This comes as weather maps from WX Charts, using Met Office data, show a North African plume is set to bring a 29C heatwave to the UK next week, the Express reports.

Essex is expected to bask in highs of 28C, not far off from London which is set to see the hottest temperatures of 29C.

Giving its verdict for the weekend and further ahead, a Met Office spokesman said: "The weekend’s weather is expected to start with largely cloudy conditions, and possibly turning breezier too. Any rain or showers remain more likely in the north and west, with generally drier conditions further south and east.

"A gradual trend towards more settled, and warmer weather is then likely into next week, with a small chance that this could persist for several days leading to a spell of hot weather with winds from the south or southeast.

"There are a number of other possible scenarios at this range, with details likely to become clearer through this week as we get nearer the event."

It comes after temperatures so far this month have been a few degrees below their seasonal average.

The UK experienced its coolest first 10 days of June since 2020, in contrast to the hottest June on record, seen this time last year, where the mercury rose as high as 32.2C in Lincolnshire and Surrey.