WESTCOUNTRY WEATHER: 10 days of rain prompts flooding fears
Weather warnings have been issued by the Met Office Devon and Cornwall last night.
According to the Exeter-based organisation, Devon and Cornwall have been issued with a yellow warning for rain for the rest of the week.
Further heavy showers are likely today, when organised bands of heavy showers and thunderstorms will move northeastwards, accompanied by squally winds.
The public should be aware of the risk of disruption, mainly due to localised flooding, but also where squally winds occur.
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On Thursday another band of rain is expected to move north across the South West during the evening, turning heavy and accompanied by strong southeasterly winds.
Friday will be particularly bad, according to the chief forecaster, who said: "A band of heavy rain will move northeast across southwestern areas of England and South Wales early on Friday, with a further 10-20 mm of rain for much of the area and as much as 50 mm over high ground.
The rain will soon clear to the north, but heavy showers will follow and these could produce 5-10 mm within an hour."
Earlier this week heavy rains and strong winds lashed the Westcountry with similar conditions expected over the next 10 days and the recent mild weather could just turn a little colder, forecasters predict.
Recent gales and heavy downpours have triggered weather warnings and the Environment Agency has issued more than 30 flood alerts for areas in Devon and Cornwall, Wales, the Midlands.
Gareth Harvey, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: “We are expecting heavy rains and gales over the next 10 days or so. The weather pattern is very mobile and it is likely to stay unsettled.
“Wednesday and Thursday see some drier weather but the rain is likely to be relentless, and as there has been quite a lot of rain in recent weeks we might start to see some localised flooding.
“There is also a suggestion that it might turn a little colder and drier towards the end of the month.”
Tredegar in south Wales saw the heaviest rainfall on Monday, with 40mm, or 1.6in, falling in the 12 hours to 7pm, Mr Harvey said.
The Met Office has said the risk of river and surface water flooding was low for South West England and south Wales for today.
A spokesman said: “It looks unsettled into the weekend and indeed into the start of next week as well.”
A similar warning was in force on Monday as motorists faced difficult driving conditions with surface water on many of the region's roads and gale force winds around the coast.
Floods were reported on Newquay Road, at Goonhavern, in Cornwall, and on Embankment Road, in Plymouth while Exeter Road in Newton Abbot was blocked in both directions during Monday morning because of a fallen tree.
The spokesman said a series of fronts would move across the region throughout the week.
He said: "Periods of heavy rain will continue to affect many south western parts of the UK during, bringing a risk of minor disruption due to river and surface water flooding.
“Total rainfall during Monday and Tuesday was expected to exceed 60mm (2.4in) in the wettest spots, mostly over higher ground, with many places seeing 20-30 mm (0.8-1.2in.
The forecast prompted the Environment Agency issue to issue five river flood alerts on Exmoor, North Dartmoor and South Devon. Alerts were also in place for the rivers Teign and Dart.
The agency said the risk of flooding was "low" over the next 24 hours. It added: "There is a low risk of river and surface water flooding across Devon and Cornwall and a low risk of surface water flooding in other parts of South West of England.
"The forecast flood risk remains very low for all other areas Tuesday and for all of England and Wales on Wednesday."