CORNWALL is set to bask in spring sunshine as forecasters predict this weekend will be hotter than the Greek Islands with temperatures set to soar to 16C.
For parts of the country could be basking in temperatures hotter than the Greek Islands and the South of France this weekend as a wave of high pressure sends the mercury rising.
Much of southern England can expect to enjoy temperatures of up to 18C on Saturday and Sunday, weeks after heavy downpours and gale-force winds flooded communities and brought the transport network to its knees.
Sunday is likely to be the warmest day of the year to date, and will no doubt come as welcome relief to those still dealing with the aftermath of flood-damaged homes.
A weekend of sunny, more settled weather could provide the “shot in the arm” the tourist industry needs, according to Westcountry tourism leaders.
Experts have said several days of sunny weather could lead to an increase in bookings and boost tourist interest in the region.
They said the welcome return of warm weather - after months of storms - could be “perfectly timed” as Britain begins to think about holidays again with spring fast approaching.
Temperatures are expected to hit 15C or 16C this weekend, around 50% above the seasonal average, with hours of sunshine predicted across the region.
Malcolm Bell, the Head of VisitCornwall, encouraged people to share photos of the good weather on social media sites to boost interest in the region.
“I would encourage all people down here to get on Instagram, Pinterest, just take some nice pictures and share them. We have got amazing social media here, just take the picture and share it,” he said.
“The clocks going forward always tends to shake the British out of their hibernation.
“I think it’s going to be the start of the revival for bookings. Now the weather is much more settled people can get on to thinking about their summer holidays again.”
Mr Bell said the tourist body had shifted its focus from the Open for Business campaign, which was launched in the wake of the storms and severing of the London Paddington to Penzance rail link, to a normal marketing approach.
“We will do something to celebrate the reopening (of the Dawlish rail link) but other than that it will be business as usual,” he said.
“We know from foot-and-mouth that once the product is back up and running people will return.”
The news came at the same time that a new study revealed small firms have lost more than £830 million because of the floods. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said the average cost per business in flood-hit areas was £1,531.
It said a third of small firms in flood-hit areas suffered from reduced demand for goods and services, while transport disruption hindered the movement of goods and supplies and led to staff absences in many businesses.