The Environment Agency has issued flood warnings for Beaulieu, just outside Southampton, and Bosham, near Chichester Harbour, calling for immediate action to avoid flooding in houses and roads close to the water’s edge.
A further 31 areas from Cornwall all along the southern coast and up into East Anglia have been issued flood alerts, warning that flooding is possible and urging locals to be prepared.
“Today is a generally very unsettled day with low pressure dominating across all of the UK,” said Marco Petagna from the Met Office.
“It is particularly windy through the Irish Sea and down towards the southwest of the UK, where we could see gales with gusts up to 50mph or so.
“There’s also spring tides this weekend, so at high tide around some exposed coasts there could be a bit of spray over the top.”
The stormy weather will continue into Sunday as well, Mr Petagna warned, with the south-east and south-west of England particularly likely to see heavy rain and strong winds.
The most affected regions could see winds of up to 60mph, which places them on the cusp of being high enough for the Met Office to issue warnings.
“Generally most areas are going to see fairly wet and at times windy weather,” he said.
The forecast is set to improve on Monday, however, which will still be breezy but much drier for most areas, with the exception of the north-west which will continue to experience a lot of rain.
But after this brief respite, the unsettled and wet conditions will return on Tuesday and Wednesday, with western parts of the UK such as Wales, and western Scotland bearing the brunt.
“It’s the north-west of the UK which is the focus for the wettest conditions into the middle of next week. We could see potentially as much as 100-150mm of rain across parts of western Scotland across that three-day period.”
If this comes to pass, some parts of Britain will have received two-thirds of a normal month’s-worth of rain in barely more than 48 hours, he noted.
“A lot of that will be across the hills so less impactful, but it will run down into lower-lying areas as well,” Mr Petagna added.
Finally, towards the end of the week the wind and rain will begin to die down but temperatures are expected to fall and some of the first snow of the year could be seen.
“At the end of the week it could turn colder, a bit of wintriness and certainly in the hills of Scotland we could see a bit of snow on Thursday or Friday.”
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