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Mapped: Met Office’s latest severe weather warnings as UK hit by heavy rain

The UK is bracing for strong winds and more heavy rain this weekend, with the Met Office issuing new weather warnings across most of the country.

Areas near the Irish Sea are being warned they could face gusts of up to 70mph, with sustained windspeeds between 45 and 55mph forecast for the Midlands, northern England and Northern Ireland.

Part of the UK may also experience flooding with as much as 80mm of rain expected, the forecaster said, as yellow weather warnings were issued for Dorset and Devon, southern Scotland and Northern Ireland.

"We’re in for a wet and windy weekend,” said Met Office spokesperson Stephen Dixon, warning that there was a possibility of flooding due to saturated ground.

Another band will move tomorrow morning from the south-west of the UK towards the north-east, leading to heavy downpours, he told Sky News. The showers will ease in the afternoon, however, affecting only southern areas, Mr Dixon added.

Overlapping weather warnings are in place for all of Saturday. One warned of strong winds perhaps leading to some transport disruption. The other said a band of rain will move across the area this morning, followed by a drier interlude, then heavy showers again this evening (Met Office)
Overlapping weather warnings are in place for all of Saturday. One warned of strong winds perhaps leading to some transport disruption. The other said a band of rain will move across the area this morning, followed by a drier interlude, then heavy showers again this evening (Met Office)

Up to 30 flood warnings are in place, meaning flooding is expected, and another 150 flood alerts are in force.

"We will also be seeing some quite strong winds in Wales, the Midlands, northern England and Northern Ireland, particularly coastal communities around the Irish Sea,” Mr Dixon said.

A single weather warning is currently in place for Sunday 10 December, warning of the chance of heavy rain in northwestern England in the early hours (Met Office)
A single weather warning is currently in place for Sunday 10 December, warning of the chance of heavy rain in northwestern England in the early hours (Met Office)

Kate Marks, flood duty manager at the Environment Agency, said: “Minor river flooding impacts are expected across parts of England until Tuesday, following recent heavy rainfall and with further rain on Saturday. Minor surface water flooding is likely across parts of Somerset, Devon and Dorset on Saturday, with further minor impacts also possible elsewhere.

“We advise people to stay away from swollen rivers and urge people not to drive through flood water as just 30cm of flowing water is enough to move your car.”

Cars make their way through surface water on the A1101 in Welney in Norfolk on 7 December 2023 (PA)
Cars make their way through surface water on the A1101 in Welney in Norfolk on 7 December 2023 (PA)

The weather is likely to disrupt the transportation network, including road, rail, air and ferry transport, forecasters said.

The Met Office said coastal routes could be particularly badly affected by spray and large waves.

"There is another area of low pressure coming on Sunday with the possibility of further warnings being issued," Mr Dixon said.

With this, another band of rain will push north-eastwards and may be wintry over the hills in the north. The South will see patchy cloud coverage and light-scattered showers in the afternoon. Dry and bright weather is expected to return for most areas on Monday with spells of sunshine, mostly over England.