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Five days of weather warnings as Devon faces onslaught of rain and gales
2:25pm Tuesday 4th February 2014 in Devon
The Met Office are warning of five days of wild weather, with severe warnings now in place until Saturday and beyond.
Very strong winds and heavy rain will return to southwestern parts during Tuesday afternoon and evening. Gusts of 60 to 70 mph are expected in many coastal areas, perhaps reaching 80 mph in a few of the most exposed spots in southwest England. Further inland, gusts of 50 to 60 mph are more likely. Strong winds may cause some disruption, particularly due to fallen trees. Large waves may again give rise to coastal flooding.
In addition, many places will see 10 to 20 mm of rain, perhaps around 30 mm over hills, which may cause additional flooding. Some particularly heavy squally bursts are expected late evening.
On Wednesday gales accompanied by heavy rain will ease during the early hours but in southern and western areas of England and Wales, renewed severe gales are expected to arrive during Wednesday daytime.
The focus will be around the middle of the day and early afternoon, with the potential for gusts to around 70 mph in some coastal areas, possibly 80 mph in the most exposed sites. Inland gusts to around 60 mph are expected. Some disruption seems likely.
A gradual change to more showery conditions is expected on Wednesday but still with some longer spells of rain, which could bring a further 20 to 30 mm but with 10-15 mm being a more general figure.
On Thursday a further spell of heavy and persistent rain is expected, while another area of heavy rain will reach the far southwest of the country late on Friday evening and spread across remaining areas during Saturday morning.
The rain will be accompanied by very strong winds, with gusts to severe gale force (70 mph, perhaps locally 80 mph), mainly in exposed and coastal areas.
The public should be aware of disruption to travel from the combination of this heavy rain with the very strong winds, especially in areas where flooding has occurred recently, or is ongoing.
This return to wild weather on Saturday is due to another rapidly deepening area of low pressure will approach the southwest later on Friday. A further 20-30 mm of rain is expected widely within the warning area, while 40-50 mm is possible on high ground in the southwest. Coming so soon after previous rainfall events, this is likely to augment the impacts.
The chief forecaster at the Met Office said: "Computer models have moved into much better agreement now for this weather system but unfortunately the most likely outcome is not good news. This means that there is now increased confidence in a period of persistent rain, which may bring a fairly widespread 15 to 25 mm to the areas covered by the warning, possibly around 30 mm in some southern counties. This rain, falling so soon after the previous batch (see warnings for Wednesday), seems likely to exacerbate problems with flooding, especially as further heavy rain seems very likely early on Saturday.
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