A rare amber weather warning has been issued by the Met Office for extreme heat at the end of the week which could pose a danger to life.

Norfolk is already in the midst of a heatwave and mercury levels are expected to rise even higher.

The warning is in place for Sunday, July 17, and there is a chance temperatures could break records and hit 40C.

A persistent area of high pressure centred over the southern half of the UK is responsible for this week’s warm spell.

During the weekend, a developing southerly flow will allow very high temperatures currently building over the continent to spread northwards to the UK.

While it is not certain, forecast models have predicted that temperatures in parts of Norfolk could soar to highs of 40C.

This could break the previous record from July 2019, when mercury levels hot 38.7C at Cambridge University's Botanic Garden.

Adam Dury, a meteorologist at Norwich-based Weatherquest, said: "One forecast model we are looking at has predicted highs of 40C by Monday and Tuesday next week, so the potential is there that we could see record-breaking temperatures.

"Parts of the extreme west of Norfolk, close to the Cambridgeshire and Suffolk border will see the highest temperatures.

"But it is still seven days away so this could change closer to the time."

A level three health warning issued by the UK Health and Security Agency is currently in place, which means high-risk individuals could be in danger from the sweltering heat.

Dog owners have also been warned to look out for signs of heatstroke, with some breeds more at risk than others.

Amber warning for east of England - what to expect

Temperatures will build again later this week and over the coming weekend, likely peaking on Sunday and Monday.

Some exceptionally high temperatures are possible and cumulative effects of warm nights and hot days are expected to bring widespread disruption to people and infrastructure.

This period of hot weather is expected to continue into the early part of next week.

A statement from the Met Office said: “Population-wide adverse health effects are likely to be experienced, not limited to those most vulnerable to extreme heat, leading to potentially serious illness or danger to life.

"Government advice is that 999 services should be used in emergencies only; seek advice from 111 if you need non-emergency health advice.

“Substantial changes in working practices and daily routines are likely to be required. Significantly more people are likely to visit coastal areas, lakes and rivers leading to an increased risk of water safety incidents.

“Delays on roads and road closures are possible, along with delays and cancellations to rail and air travel, with potential for significant welfare issues for those who experience even moderate delays.”