Temperatures in UK hit 38.1°C on Monday with forecast on Tuesday expected to touch 41°C

The UK could have its hottest day on record this week, with temperatures forecast to hit up to 41°C.

At 4:00pm local time it was 38.1°C in Santon Downham, Suffolk, making this the hottest day of the year so far after temperatures rose through the day.

The Met Office has issued a red extreme heat warning on Monday and Tuesday in much of England, from London and the South East up to York and Manchester.

The current highest temperature in the UK is 38.7°C, in Cambridge in 2019.

The hottest day on record has already been reached in Wales hitting 37.1°C, according to provisional figures from the Met Office.

Scotland and Northern Ireland are also experiencing their warmest days of the year so far with 31.3°C recorded in Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, and 31.1°C in Derrylin, County Fermanagh.

Temperatures above 37°C have been recorded in London, Cambridge, Surrey and Suffolk on Monday.

Amber warnings are in place across England and Wales, and parts of Scotland.

Peak temperatures are expected on Tuesday afternoon, with Worksop, Nottinghamshire, forecast to see 41°C by the Met Office.

It is the first time the Met Office has issued a red warning since the system was introduced last year.

It means “widespread impacts on people and infrastructure” are expected, with “substantial changes in working practices and daily routines” required.

Overnight temperatures could be in the mid-20s, before cooling on Wednesday.

Network Rail said people should travel only “if absolutely necessary” on Monday and Tuesday, with some cancellations already announced, and speed restrictions in place across the network.

Soaring temperatures are also having a devastating impact on much of Europe and north Africa, with authorities in western France warning of a “heat apocalypse” in 15 regions.

Wildfires have been raging from Greece to Morocco, with thousands being evacuated from and more than 1,000 deaths have been attributed to the heat in Portugal and Spain in recent days.