STORMS are forecast to hit Dorset for the next five days as more weather warnings for heavy rain and wind are issued.

The Met Office has yellow warnings in place for strong wind and rain until Saturday, with Environment Agency staff preparing for high tides along the Dorset coast on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

John Curtin, head of incident management at the Environment Agency said: “Following the wettest January on record in some places we are now set to experience successive bands of heavy rain heavy rain fall lasting into the weekend.

“With further river and coastal flooding expected this week we have teams working around the clock to protect homes and communities, and over 117,000 homes have been protected over the past three days.

“Strong winds and waves could be dangerous, and we would urge people to take care near coastal paths and promenades for fear of being swept away, and not to drive through flood water.”

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The River Avon in Dorset was one of the rivers predicted to be most affected by the forecast rain with people urged to keep away from coastal areas as well.

Overnight, gusts of wind – possibly up to 80mph – were expected with large waves causing coastal flooding.

On Wednesday further showers are forecast with Thursday also seeing more persistent rain throughout the day into Friday.

A spokesperson for the Met Office said Saturday’s forecast showed another area of heavy rain and strong winds up to 70mph.

The chief forecaster 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, seems likely to exacerbate problems with flooding, especially as further heavy rain seems very likely early on Saturday.”