Forecasters are warning Essex could be hit with severe thunderstorms later today.

The Met Office is predicting another hot and sunny day for much of the county, with temperatures likely to range between 24c and 28c.

But the Essex Weather Centre is warning there is an increasing threat of storms arriving this afternoon, some of which could even cause flash flooding.

It tweeted: “Another hot day across Essex with temperatures edging towards 30C inland, cooler along the coast.

"Thunderstorms may develop this afternoon, with gusty winds and torrential downpours.

“Stronger signal from this morning's model runs of thunderstorms developing from early afternoon across the region.

“One or two of them could turn severe with large hail, gusty winds and flash flooding.”

The BBC’s weather forecast suggests south Essex could see thunderstorms anytime between 3pm and 7pm, while in north Essex they could strike between 5pm and 8pm.

The Met Office is also warning about the threat of storms hitting Eastern England this afternoon.

It adds thundery showers will slowly die out through the evening but has warned there could be further heavy downpours tomorrow.

A yellow weather warning is in place for much of Essex for storms between 1pm and midnight.

Temperatures are expected to remain in the high 20s across Essex tomorrow, before eventually dropping to around 21c on Friday.

The Met Office has issued its first ever extreme warning in parts of the UK as some places see temperatures rise above 30c.

Met Office Chief Operational Meteorologist Steven Ramsdale said, “The high temperatures are going to continue through a large part of this week.

“Many areas will continue to reach heatwave thresholds but the amber extreme heat warning focusses on western areas where the most unusually high temperatures are likely to persist.

“There’s a continuing risk of isolated thundery downpours late in the afternoons but most areas will stay dry until later in the week.

“Temperatures should begin to fall for most areas heading into the weekend, with some more unsettled conditions looking to develop.”