THE FIRST heatwave of the year is set to hit Essex next week.

Experts at Essex Weather Centre say the weather is set to very warm over the coming days.

However, they say this will also bring the threat of thunderstorms.

Current forecasts by the weather centre suggest temperatures in parts of the county could hit a sizzling 26c on Monday and 27c on Tuesday.

The Met is also suggesting temperatures could hit the mid-twenties next week.

It will remain a little cooler in coastal areas such as Southend and Clacton.

In an update yesterday, the Essex Weather Centre said: “Becoming very warm, perhaps hot next week.

“Still some uncertainty on how high temperatures will climb and there is also the risk of thunderstorms developing in places.”

The weather centre’s forecast shows the highest threat of thunderstorms is between Sunday and Tuesday.

It comes as Brits were already told to expect hot temperatures this month amid a ‘Spanish sizzler’ heading towards the UK.

The hottest weather is expected to coincide with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, according to forecasters, when Brits will enjoy a “blockbuster” four-day Bank Holiday weekend.

Barbecues and beer gardens could be on the horizon as the later weeks of May look set to bring the summer weather.

The Met Office has already predicted a “brief heatwave” with meteorologists predicting temperatures will get even higher moving into June.

A ‘Spanish Sizzler’ will be pushing warm weather across from the continent just in time for the weekend of celebrations.

The forecaster’s long-range weather outlook predicts: “Chances of hot weather and heatwaves are increased compared to average, especially later in the period.

"There is an increase in the likelihood of warmer-than-average conditions over the three months."