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Weather warning issued

PUBLISHED: 14:30 04 February 2014 | UPDATED: 17:10 04 February 2014

Archant

Drivers urged to take care on the roads as strong winds and heavy rain are forecast.

Motorists are be urged to be cautious as strong winds and heavy rain are forecast across the South West this afternoon and this evening (Tuesday).

The Highways Agency has issued an amber alert, warning drivers in the region

Road users driving high-sided vehicles, riding motorcycles or towing caravans are being urged to check traffic and weather conditions before setting out on journeys and to heed any advice such as speed restrictions once they are on the strategic road network.

Met Office forecasters based in the agency’s National Traffic Operations Centre in Birmingham are predicting that heavy rain may produce rainfall accumulations of 20-30mm across many southern parts, with 40mm in some places. Given the already saturated ground, further problems with local flooding are possible.

Very strong South to South-easterly winds of 40-50mph will be prevalent later on Tuesday. These winds are expected to reach 50-60mph late in the afternoon on Tuesday and continuing into the evening, with gusts of 60-70mph likely, mainly along exposed southern coasts.

Gusts may reach 80mph along some exposed southern coastlines, notably Cornwall, South Devon and Dorset. The main time periods for the strongest gusts are likely to be between 3pm and 9pm, with winds easing slightly, but still remaining quite strong throughout the night.

The public is also being advised of the risk of disruption from strong winds, which may cause some damage, with disruption due to fallen trees and debris onto roads.

Rob Llewellyn, Highways Agency emergency planning manager in the South West said: “Road users are urged to check traffic and weather conditions before setting out on journeys and to heed any advice such as speed restrictions once they are on the strategic road network.

“Be aware of sudden gusts of wind, and give high-sided vehicles, caravans, motorbikes and bicycles plenty of space. In the event of persistent high winds we may need to close certain bridges to traffic for a period, so please be alert for warnings of closures and follow the clearly signed diversion routes.”

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