IT FEELS like summer has finally arrived with scorching temperatures and endless blue skies.

And forecasters say the July heatwave will continue over the next few days.

Temperatures hit the late 20s in parts of Hampshire today with parks across the county filled with sun seekers.

On Friday, forecasters predict it will reach up to 27C in Basingstoke and across the borough.

But as the weekend draws closer, temperatures will cool to the early 20s with an increase in cloud coverage.

A Met Office spokesman said: "Friday dry and very warm with some sunny spells and light winds.

"Saturday increasingly cloudy, but mostly dry. Sunday brightening up, but with the odd shower possible, and probably cooler."

The UK had previously baked last week with the arrival of the Saharan Bubble heatwave with temperatures peaking at 35C.

The mercury hit 35C in Northolt, Middlesex, as Britain basked in extreme heat sweeping across Europe from North Africa.

Residents across Hampshire made the most of the sunshine by firing up BBQs - while others headed to the beach and gathered in beer gardens.

The A50 dual carriageway melted near Foston, Derbyshire, on Sunday - causing hours of delays.

A downpour of "blood rain" in Scotland left an orange dust on cars.

On Saturday night, 15.8mm of rain fell in Edinburgh during a thunderstorm while heavy rain also struck as far south as Leicester.