NEXT week is to be Scotland’s hottest of the year so far, according to forecasts.

The area of high pressure which has brought good conditions across the UK over the last few days is to extend out toward the end of the month.

So far, the top temperature of the year was 21.6C, recorded at Urquhart in the Highlands on May 13.

However, Scotland looks set to be the warmest part of the UK next week with temperatures as high as 26C.

STV’s Sean Batty said: “High pressure looks like settling over Scotland next week with much warmer conditions developing, and it looks like the west of Scotland will often be the warmest part of the UK with temperatures peaking in the mid-20s.

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“While it’ll be warm in the west, a gentle on-shore air flow in the east will hold temperatures back there.

“This means places such as Peterhead, Stonehaven, St Andrews and Dunbar may remain in the mid-teens while the heat builds in the west.”

The broadcaster reports that Oban Dornie, Torridon, Kinlochewe and around Lairg in the north Highlands to be the hottest, with temperatures reaching as high as 26C in the right conditions.

Further south, areas around Glasgow and Ayrshire will likely see highs in the low to mid 20s.

Pressure is expected to remain high in the north of the UK into June meaning that Scotland is the most favourable spot for drier conditions compared to England and Wales.

Earlier this month, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency warned water shortages could be possible this summer with some areas of the country already recording low river levels and dry ground conditions.