Britain is warming up for a late summer scorcher with the deadly Cerberus heatwave threatening to flick a tail of fire across the nation.
The killer Saharan heat surge, named after the terrifying mythological monster guarding the gates to Hell, is set to turn its gaze towards the UK in the coming weeks.
Alarm bells have sounded for rocketing temperatures next month to kick start a freak two-month autumn heatwave.
But this weekend, as 45C blazing sunshine melts tourists on the Continent, wind and rain is dampening spirits at home.
The miserable UK weather is expected to continue through the rest of this month before thermometers goes stratospheric.
British Weather Services meteorologist Jim Dale says summer could come to a sizzling end.
He said: “There’s still about a 10-per cent chance that we could see a 40C by the end of the summer, the chance is small, but it is there.
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“We are currently experiencing an extended period of wetter, cooler weather, but I expect this to change during the last month of summer.
“There is plenty of scope for the UK to see further heatwaves through the season.”
Among other factors, hot weather will be driven by an El Nino warming of the tropical Pacific ocean – a phenomenon which recently confirmed, can affect global weather patterns.
It could also be influenced by the deadly Cerberus heatwave, currently pushing the mercury towards record levels across the Continent.
The killer heatwave could give a push to warm plumes of air headed this way, although it is not expected to directly engulf the UK.
Mr Dale, author of ‘Weather Or Not?’, said: “For us, we are looking at a fresh source of warm air wafting up from the Mediterranean.
“We could catch the tail end of Cerberus, although this doesn’t mean we are expecting to see record temperatures here.
“But it does mean the risk of some very hot and humid weather through August with the potential for September – the new summer month – to deliver more of the same."
Hot weather would come as a shock to the system with Britain’s weather looking more like autumn over the coming days.
A year since the record temperature of 40.3C was recorded in Lincolnshire, Britons are braced for chilly winds and rain.Turbulent Atlantic weather systems will be steered in from the Atlantic through the middle of July, according to the Met Office.
Meteorologist Alex Deakin said: “It is generally staying pretty gusty and pretty cool.“It will feel cooler with the breeze this weekend.“
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“The jet stream is driving south and picking up low-pressure systems and dragging them towards the UK, and that spells a period of wet and windy weather across the UK.”
However, the Met Office’s long-range outlook predicts a 40-per cent chance of hotter than average weather through the rest of summer.
Independent forecasters agree with some predicting another blast of unbearable heat to end the season.
Exacta Weather’s James Madden said: “Late July could see high pressure returning and bringing a change from this changeable and unsettled weather.
“This is likely to persist as we head into August to give a much warmer than average month overall for many parts.“
Into September, we could see some potentially hot African plumes, and this could see temperatures approaching the mid 30Cs or more in places.”
El Nino is set to bring extreme weather conditions to the UK
Bookies have already started slashing the odds on an autumn roaster with Ladbrokes offering 3/1 on the hottest September on record, and 5/2 for autumn to make the books.
Spokesman Alex Apati said: "A record-breaking Indian summer is very much on the cards, if the latest odds are anything to go by."Coral is at 6/4 on a scorching August, with 2/1 on the monthly record of 38.5C set in 2003 to fall.
Spokesman John Hill said: “It feels like summer has gone into hiding, but our betting suggests we are set for a baking second half to the season.
“We have slashed the odds on both August and September being record-hot months.
“We are not ruling out 40C or higher during August or September, as temperatures look set to rocket towards recording-breaking territory.
”While long-range outlooks point towards hints of something warmer later in the summer, meteorologists urge that the current outlook through the rest of this month is for more unsettled, cooler conditions.
The Met Office’s monthly outlook states: "An unsettled start to the period is most likely, but there are indications that increasingly settled weather, with less frequent showers separated by more prolonged dry spells, may slowly become dominant at some point in the period.
"However, the risk of thunderstorms and heavy showers is likely to remain a possibility throughout.”