The Met Office has issued a warning for widespread fog during Friday morning’s rush hour – a day before temperatures are set to soar in a bank holiday heatwave.

Dense patches of fog are expected across southern England – including Plymouth and Oxfordshire – prompting forecasters to urge early morning commuters to take extra care.

The fog is expected to clear between 7am and 8am on Friday morning, making way for clearer skies and sunshine across the UK.

People relax and enjoy the sunshine in deck chairs by the lake in St James's Park on April 22, 2019 in London, England
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Temperature records could be broken on Monday

Five million drivers are set to hit the roads for holidays and day trips on Friday – but traffic is expected to be busiest after 11am, when the fog should have cleared.

Temperatures this morning could be as low as 7C (44.6F), but the afternoon will be warmer as southeasterly winds draw air from Europe towards the UK.

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London could see 26C (78.8F) on Friday and Cardiff will be only a few degrees behind – with the rest of the country also largely dry and sunny.

But Scotland will see some showers, particularly in northwestern parts.

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Plenty of sunshine and temperatures in the mid-to-high 20s are expected on Saturday and Sunday, with southeastern parts of the UK potentially reaching 31C (87.8F).

By Monday, the country could be on track for record-breaking temperatures, with 33C (91.4F) possible in the South East of England.

The previous record for the UK’s hottest August bank holiday weekend was set in 2001, when temperatures hit 31.5C (88.7F) at Heathrow airport.

More than two million Britons will be heading overseas during the long weekend.

Travel trade organisation ABTA said the most popular destinations include the Balearic islands, mainland Spain, Greece and Italy.

For those willing to go further afield on long-haul flights, New York, Toronto and Dubai are top of the list.

A jogger runs past the Round Pond as the sun rises at Kensington Gardens in London on August 31, 2017
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The dense fog patches should make way for clear skies and sunshine

ABTA chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “The Mediterranean is currently experiencing some pleasant temperatures for people wishing to travel overseas, while those staying in the UK will be able to enjoy more settled conditions, with trips to the coast and countryside a popular choice.

“As with all bank holiday weekends, the roads and rail networks are likely to be particularly busy so if you are planning to travel, make sure you leave extra time to get to your place of departure and check your route in advance for engineering works if using public transport.

“If you are still looking to book a last-minute break or are planning a trip further ahead, there are good value holidays out there, particularly during the October half-term.”

A total of 9.4 million trips are expected on UK roads on Friday and Saturday – and bank holiday Monday is expected to bring a further 3.7 million journeys.

Transportation analytics firm INRIX says some of the worst major roads for delays will include:

  • M25 anti-clockwise (between J1 and J4)
  • M6 north (between J18 and J24) on Friday
  • M6 south (between J27 and J13) on Monday