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Met Office issues severe weather warnings as further rain expected

Severe weather warnings have been issued across the UK as heavy rain is expected to continue falling on saturated ground.

The Met Office has warned that journey times are likely to be made longer due to spray and flooding on roads, while bus and train services will probably be affected.

It is also likely that some homes and business will experience flooding as up to 80mm of rain falls in some parts of the west of the UK.

Neil Armstrong, chief forecaster at the Met Office, said: “After a relatively calm day on Wednesday, wet and windy weather will move in from the west on Wednesday night.

“Low pressure will drive several days of unsettled conditions with heavy rainfall the main concern.

“We have issued a number of severe weather warnings for rain across the UK, as much as 80mm of rain could fall in some areas of the west, particularly higher ground.

“Higher ground in eastern Scotland could even see up to 100mm of rain. Our warnings are likely to be updated so keep up to date with the Met Office forecast.

“The rain will be falling on already very wet ground and where there is still lying snow in the north-west of England and parts of Scotland, snow melt will exacerbate the risk of flooding.

“It is important to check for flood warnings in your area issued by your local environment agency.”

Yellow weather warnings have been issued for Thursday in the South West and south Wales, the Midlands, parts of Northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The Met Office said areas of low pressure will bring wet and windy conditions, displacing the cold weather that has seen frosts, snow and ice in some regions.

It is expected that the highest rain totals will be focused in western parts of the UK over the next few days, falling on already sodden ground.

A second low pressure will see heavy rain through Thursday and further weather fronts during Friday and Saturday morning.

There will then be a “brief calmer spell” in the southern half of the UK as a ridge of higher pressure moves in through Saturday afternoon, though showery rain will continue in the north, the Met Office said.

Another area of low pressure could move close to Northern Ireland on Sunday, bringing strong winds and further spells of rain.

There are currently 22 flood warnings and 111 flood alerts in place across England.

In Wales, there is one flood alert for South Pembrokeshire. In Scotland, there are flood alerts for Fife, Tayside, Dumfries and Galloway, Dundee and Angus, and Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City.

RAC Breakdown spokesman Simon Williams urged drivers to be wary of flooded roads.

“Drivers in the worst-affected areas will need to be on their guard for floods and standing water,” he said.

“Anyone tempted to drive through water that is too deep for their vehicle is risking their safety and a very expensive repair bill near to Christmas or, worse still, the prospect of an insurance write-off.

“The best advice is to turn around and go another way if there’s any doubt about the water’s depth.

“From a road safety perspective, we urge drivers to slow down and leave plenty of stopping distance behind the vehicle in front.

“It’s also important to remember the risk of losing control due to aquaplaning, which is what happens when a layer of water gets between the tyres and the road surface, making it impossible to steer, brake or accelerate.”

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