More flood warnings as Britain set for three inches of rainPA


Britain is set for more heavy downpours today (29 December) with three inches of rain forecast for some parts of the country.

North west England and Wales will be the worst hit by the storm sweeping in from the Atlantic.

But the south west, which has already seen road and rail chaos thanks to flooding in the last few days, could also expect an inch of rain.

This morning there we 81 flood warnings in place with 218 flood alerts issued, and the Environment Agency has warned those travelling over the weekend to take extra care.

The bad weather will continue into Monday, but it could ease up for many New Year's Eve revellers.

Met Office spokesman Charlie Powell told The Sun: "We can expect a gradual easing of the weather by the middle of next week."

And Met Office forecaster Dave Britton told the Daily Mail: "Heavier rain will return on Sunday evening, with a new band of wet weather from the west. New Year's Eve will see further outbreaks of rain, but after a sodden day, the early forecasts are for the rain to clear in the evening.

"By midnight, there will be a few localised showers, but much of the country can expect a largely dry night. So it looks like good news for fireworks displays. But it will be slightly chillier than previous nights, so people should dress up warm.

"Things are drier from midweek and it looks like we are going to get some respite in southern parts, where it is most needed. We should have a few days of mostly dry weather."

Heavy showers over the last few days have caused havoc with road and rail services in the south west, giving post-Christmas back-to-work commuters a headache.

First Great Western said the main rail line in the South West, which has been closed since before Christmas because of flooding between Exeter St Davids and Tiverton, is expected to reopen today (29 December).

There was even a rare landslide and rock fall warning issued for south west England by the British Geological Society (BGS).

Concerns arose over the stability of cliff edges because of the intensity of recent heavy rainfalls.

The BGS was worried about people enjoying walks, and issued the alert to the Hazard Warning Centre at the Met Office in Exeter, according to the BBC.

The South West Coastal Path, which covers most of the Dorset, Devon, Cornwall and Somerset coasts, runs through areas which are potentially at risk, it said.

The Met Office has already confirmed 2012 as the wettest year in England since records began in 1910 – and the upcoming storms are likely to see it as the wettest for all of Britain, with less than two inches of rain is needed for the record to be broken.

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