Autumn will be on hold this weekend as Keats' season of mists and mellow fruitfulness gives way to a burst of late sunshine and soaring temperatures.
The chilly and foggy September weather of recent weeks will melt away to be replaced with blue skies and highs of around 73F (23C) in the south through the weekend. And humid conditions could make some parts of the country feel closer to 81F (27C).
Next week will remain unseasonably warm with temperatures of around 66F (19C). And the unusually clement weather has been tipped to hold out for at least another month with no sign of winter on the way.
"Temperatures are going to be pretty good for the time of year with highs in the low 20s expected in the south and 19C in the north next week," said Met Office forecaster Mark Wilson.
"Most of the UK will be dry and sunny on Friday although there could be some winds across Scotland.
"It is a similar picture for the weekend and into next week with nighttime temperatures picking up.
"For the end of September it is looking very respectable, with temperatures well above-average for the time of year."
Leon Brown, forecaster for The Weather Channel UK, said the best of the weather will be in the south and east.
He said: "High pressure builds for the weekend and next week with mainly fine and dry weather, but some weak fronts may bring a little rain to the far north.
"Temperatures will stay quite warm and reaching the low 20s in the south and east.
"The warmth and dry weather may hold on until late next week in the south."
Long-range forecasts say Britain could be in for above-average temperatures until the end of November.
The Met Office's three-month contingency planner states: "The latest predictions for UK-mean temperature favour above-average temperatures for September-October-November as a whole."
James Madden, forecaster for Exacta Weather, said: "A significant area of high pressure is likely to build in across many parts of the country towards the end of the month and into the early part of October, resulting in some even warmer and potentially very hot weather for the time of the year."
WeatherOnline forecaster John Ejdowski said some parts of the country may see rain by the middle of next week although temperatures will stay high.
He said: "It looks as though pressure will mostly remain high, especially across the south and here we can expect little in the way of rainfall.
"A front may bring outbreaks of rain in across most areas on Wednesday but this becomes light and patchy.
"Temperatures will are expected to increase to above their seasonal norms, becoming quite warm again.
"Maximum temperatures of 17 to 23C."
Netweather said temperatures could feel close to 81F (27C) in the south by the end of the weekend.
Forecaster Nick Finnis said: "The weekend is looking mainly fine and dry, as high pressure builds from the south, though often rather cloudy, especially towards the north and west, where the cloud will be thick enough to bring patchy light rain or drizzle.
"Where we do see some brightness or sunny spells, these most likely in the south and east, it will turn out rather warm for late September - with temperatures reaching 22-23C.
"It looks like staying mostly dry and warm across southern and eastern parts next week."
The promise of warm weather has prompted bookies to slash the odds on a September "heatwave".
Ladbrokes is offering odds of 6/4 the mercury will hit 24C (75F) or above before midnight Sunday.
Spokesman Alex Donohue said: "The odds suggest we should put our coats back in the cupboard and get our shades out for one last swansong.
"It doesn't look like this September will break any weather records but we could well see temperatures surge from freezing to scorching within a matter of hours."