FORECASTERS have issued a severe warning for thunderstorms across Cheshire, North Wales and Wirral as the temperature continues to rise.

The Met Office say scattered thunderstorms are expected to move north from 6pm today (Tuesday, July 23) and into early hours of Wednesday, July 24.

They are warning that these storms could cause power cuts, damage to property from lightning strikes and travel delays.

A spokesman for the Met Office said: "Scattered thunderstorms are expected to affect parts of south-west and southern England this evening, moving north quickly across the UK overnight, clearing Scotland and eastern England by mid-morning on Wednesday.

"Although some places will miss the thunderstorms altogether, where they do occur there is the potential for frequent lightning, hail and gusty winds, as well as sudden downpours in a few places."

The warning comes after the country is expected to edge towards its hottest ever July day, with the mercury due to soar above 30C (86F) today (Tuesday).

Forecasters predict temperatures of up to 37C (96.8F) before the end of the week, surpassing the current record for a day in July – 36.7C (98.1F) at Heathrow Airport in 2015.

Public Health England have re-issued warnings about the heat, urging people to keep hydrated, find shade and take protection against the sun.

Advice being issued also says no-one should ever be left in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals.

It also said that residents should avoid the sun between 11am to 3pm but, if they do go out, they should walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat.

Other tips include avoiding physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day and wearing light, loose-fitting cotton clothes.

Dogs Trust has also advised owners to not leave pets alone in a hot car seat even for a few minutes.