The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning for rain and thunderstorms over the next couple of days.

Travel disruption is also a possibility as the storms take hold, according to the forecaster.

There is a "small chance that homes and businesses could be flooded quickly" during thundery downpours, with lightning strikes, hail and strong winds all expected.

A spokesman from the Met Office said: "Heavy showers and thunderstorms will continue to spread north-east across England and Wales, whilst also increasing in frequency during the day.

"In a few places there is the potential for 20-30 mm of rain to fall in an hour and 30 to 50 mm of rain to fall in 3 hours."

More normal conditions are forecast to return from Thursday, with sunny spells and showers forecast for many.

Last week, the UK was basking in a heatwave and a 38.7C (101.66F) reading in Cambridge set a new temperature record, exceeding the previous record of 38.5C (101.3F) measured in Faversham, Kent, in August 2003.

Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands also broke national heat records last week as extreme weather also gripped large parts of central and western Europe.

Experts warn that global warming, caused by human activities such as burning fossil fuels which are increasing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, is making heatwaves more likely and more intense.