A display of 'celestial fireworks' is set to light up the skies tonight.

If skies are clear, the Perseid meteor shower should be visible across the UK from around midnight until 5.30am, according to Royal Museums Greenwich.

The event is one of the highpoints in the celestial calendar, occurring each year as the Earth ploughs through dusty debris left by Comet Swift-Tuttle.

The meteors, mostly no bigger than a grain of sand, burn up as they hit the atmosphere at 58 kilometres (36 miles) per second to produce a shooting stream of light in the sky.

Peak temperatures can reach anywhere from 1,648 to 5,537 C (3,000 to 10,000 Fahrenheit) as they speed across the sky.

The meteors are called Perseids because they seem to dart out of the constellation Perseus.

"It should look like a decent night for most places," Bonnie Diamond, a meteorologist at the Met Office said.

"Weather tonight is largely dry for many but there is potentially some showers affecting western coasts later this evening and generally dying out overnight, where it might be cloudier.

"So there will be a bit of cloud around but some really good gaps."

Forecasts suggest that Wales, central England and southern England may offer the best weather to see the display, as well as clear spells in Scotland and Northern Ireland, but north-west England may suffer from cloudy conditions.

To make the best of the meteors, observers should avoid built-up areas and try to find an unobstructed view to the east, experts suggest.

When is the best time?

Observers should be able to see some meteors as soon as the sun sets, although the best times are when the sky is darkest – between midnight and the very early hours of the morning.

The showers are actually active between July 17 and August 24, but astronomers have predicted the nights of August 12 and 13 are the most intense.

Why is Perseids so good?

According to the Royal Observatory Greenwich, the Perseids is one of the best meteor shower of the year because it produces bright meteors and is one of the most active.

They also say there is a high chance of seeing fireballs, which are very bright meteors, as well as meteors with long trains during the Perseid meteor shower.

Top tips

As ever, the best way to see the night sky is to get away from light – and hope the skies are clear.

Avoid built-up areas and try and find an unobstructed view to the east. Remember, give your eyes about 20 minutes to adjust to the darkness.

What are the chances of actually seeing it?

Tonight's forecast is for light rain showers and patchy showers so with a little bit of luck you should be able to catch a glimpse. 

The forecast is better for tomorrow evening with 'partly cloudy' skies predicted between 10pm and 1am so if you miss out tonight you've got another good chance.