FAMILIES are set to flock to beaches and seafront bars this weekend as sunshine and above-average temperatures hit the south coast.
The Met Office has predicted highs of 66F (19C) on Saturday and Sunday – which is around 6C higher than the usual temperatures for this time of year.
People are expected to descend on Southsea Common and on to the beaches across the area as the warm temperatures arrive.
It comes as midweek temperatures hit a high of around 68F (20C) and as pupils begin their Easter school holidays.
John Hammond, forecaster for the Met office, said: ‘It’s going to be a pretty pleasant weekend.
‘Temperatures will be above average for the course of the weekend.
‘Unsurprisingly given the temperatures, there will be some sunshine around, especially on Saturday. That will be the brightest of the days. There could be some showers around on the Sunday afternoon.
‘The average temperature for the Portsmouth area at this time of year is about 52F (12C).
‘It puts it into context. We are very much hitting above our weight at the moment.
‘We almost take it for granted.
‘The fine weather looks like continuing into next week.
‘Any rainfall is very limited. This weekend it’s very much dry and pleasant spring sunshine.’
Cafes and pubs across the area are now preparing for a busy weekend as the Easter school holidays begin.
Sam Gill, manager of the Bluebird Cafe in Marine Parade West, Lee-on-the-Solent, said: ‘Obviously, the hot weather just increases our sales of ice creams completely.
‘We expect there to be tons of people on the seafront and there will be lots of boats out there.
‘Half of our revenue is based on ice cream sales so it works out quite well. It makes a huge difference to our business.
‘It means that we can start selling ice creams earlier in the season.’
Adota Santa, assistant manager of Mozzarella Joes in Southsea, said: ‘We are expecting a lot of customers.
‘For the business it’s good because we have a lot of customers coming in.
‘There are more than usual and with Easter coming up as well, we are expecting it to be busy.’