Summer starts early as a month-long May sizzle begins on Tuesday with a four-week stint of sun, dry skies and highs up to 28C (82F) cheering Brits after a soggy Bank Holiday and freak April snow. The Met Office said that “typically” the weather would dramatically improve after the 16C Bank Holiday weekend.

Good sunshine and mainly dry skies are forecast from Tuesday, due to nudge 20C. The Met Office reported a “strong signal” for a “summery” May to be hotter-than-normal, with frequent sunshine and little rainfall, with the balmy conditions set to last through the month.

Government forecasters said highs in the mid 20s were on the cards later in May and temperatures could hit as high as 28C. The Met Office said hot air from the Mediterranean will boost temperatures, while high pressure will bring dry skies. The hottest temperature of the year so far was 25.5C on April 9 in Cambridge.