UK faces flood risk as heavy rain continues

More than 20 flood alerts have been issued across England and Wales

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The Independent Online

Parts of the UK will has been warned of flooding risks today as lashings of heavy rain continue across the country.

The Environment Agency has issued more than 20 flood alerts for north England, the Midlands, the South East and Wales, and motoring organisations are urging drivers take extra care in wet weather.

Rain has been forecast across much of southern England, south Wales and south-west Scotland, along with thunderstorms and squally winds.

The Met Office has also issued a number of severe weather warnings, for the Central, Tayside and Fife, south-west Scotland, Lothian Borders, the South West, Strathclyde and Wales.

It said heavy rain of up to 30mm (1.2in) will fall over high ground in Scotland in the morning, with thunderstorms and gusts of up to 60mph along the south coast of England.

But the rain should begin to ease as clearer weather moves in from the west later in the day, before temperatures plummet in south west Scotland tonight as the weather takes a chillier turn.

Gareth Harvey, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "The rain and strong gusts of wind will hang around throughout the morning before the showers ease off to the east, with sun coming from the west.

"We will still get a few showers around, mostly in western Scotland, and it could turn quite windy with gusts of up to 60mph in northern Scotland.

"There will be a cold spell tonight, and it will be chiller than late - not quite a frost but perhaps 3C or 4C in rural areas."

With surface flooding likely, the RAC is advising motorists to be aware of the risks of driving through deep flood water.

The RAC's Matt Dallaway said: "While cars have improved significantly in technical terms in recent years they are still not waterproof and will break down if they are driven through deep water."

However, weather conditions across the capital are likely to continue to be muggy but mild, with highs of 17C predicted on Friday and sunny intervals forecast on Thursday.

Additional reporting by Press Association