Flood and rain warnings issued as weather builds to 'nasty storm'

Unusually high tides led to flooding in parts of Cornwall over the weekend, including the village of Mevagissey

The UK is braced for another deluge of rain over the next few days as wet and windy weather is expected to build up to a "nasty storm" later in the week.

Some 72 flood warnings have been issued by the Environment Agency as the latest band of bad weather approaches, leading up to the next storm on Wednesday night - which has been named Storm Ciaran.

Gusts of 80mph are possible along the south coast of England, with 20 to 25mm of rain expected across southern and western areas, but potentially up to 40 to 60mm over higher ground, the Met Office said.

On Monday, the worst of the weather is likely to hit the south coast of England, much of Wales and parts of Northern Ireland.

The forecaster advises the latest rains could lead to disruption to roads and public transport, while already flood-affected areas following Storm Babet could get worse.

Flooding was seen across Sussex during the weekend, including the Priory Meadow Shopping Centre, in Hastings, which was evacuated on Saturday with people posting on social media showing deep floodwater coming through the entrance.

On Sunday, a caravan park in Bognor Regis was also underwater with the town's Tesco supermarket car park flooded, while a house had its roof ripped off in heavy winds that residents described as like a "tornado".

Marco Petagna, a Met Office meteorologist, said: "We've had various warnings in force across the UK over the last few days and there are plenty more being issued for the next couple of days.

"The main focus in the next day or two is towards the east of Scotland, north-east England where there is a yellow rain warning until 3am.

"There will be persistent rain up there and then the focus for heavy showers will be across parts of southern and south eastern England, south Wales as well parts of Northern Ireland with some heavy and sudden showers as well."

He said that Tuesday was expected to be still unsettled but quieter before heavy winds and longer spells of rain develop on Wednesday night into Thursday, as Storm Ciaran arrives.

"There are possible gusts of 80 to 90 miles an hour in some exposed southern areas. It's probably quite a nasty storm this one," he said.

Kate Marks, flood duty manager at the Environment Agency, said: "We urge people to stay safe on the coast and to remember to take extreme care on coastal paths and promenades. Flooding of low-lying coastal roads is also possible and people must avoid driving through flood water, as just 30cm of flowing water is enough to move your car."

People have been urged to check their flood risk, sign up for free flood warnings and keep up to date with the latest situation on the website and follow @EnvAgency on X, formerly known as Twitter, for the latest flood updates.

The weather is expected to worsen as the week progresses with rain warnings in place until Wednesday and a "deep area of low pressure" set to arrive on Thursday, which will bring strong winds and heavy rain to southern parts of England and Wales.

A Tesco store car park in Bognor Regis became flooded after heavy rainfall on Sunday. Credit: PA

Met Office Deputy chief meteorologist Chris Almond said: "Winds associated with Storm Ciaran are likely to gust to 80mph along the south coast of England, with a small risk of somewhere exposed seeing 90 mph, and winds could even gust up to 50 or 60mph further inland.

"This deep, low-pressure system will also bring heavy rain to much of the UK, but the heaviest rain is expected in southern and western areas with 20 to 25mm quite widely across the region but up to 40 to 60mm potentially over higher ground.

"Heavy and persistent rain will fall on to already saturated ground bringing a risk of further impacts such as flooding in areas that are already struggling to clean up from the heavy rainfall we have seen over the last week or so."

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