RAIN and wind lashed Dorset on Sunday night as flood warnings remain in place for Poole and Christchurch.

The downpours have not caused any major problems across the area, but Environment Agency flood warnings remain in place for high tide this morning.

Hengistbury Head saw high levels this morning after high tide and water levels are expected to remain high for two hours afterwards.

Residents have been urged to take care just a week after the powerful St Jude storm that brought down trees, sunk boats and caused power cuts across Dorset.

The flood warning by the Environment Agency covers lower Hamworthy and areas including Old Town, the Quay and Hunger Hill.

The warning, which reads that flooding is expected and immediate action should be taken, was in place for high tide on Sunday night at 9pm, and this morning at 9.15am.

It will stand for the two-hour period after the tide comes in.

Flooding is also possible at both Christchurch Harbour at 9.30am today and Poole Harbour at the same time.

A spokesperson from the Met Office said at the weekend: “A frontal zone moving across the Atlantic at the weekend is expected to extend eastwards across southwestern UK late on Sunday, before spreading to the rest of southern England overnight Sunday and through Monday morning.

“Associated rain is likely to be heavy at times with accumulations typically between 10 and 20 mm and locally 30 mm or more. It will also become windy in English Channel coastal areas where gales may develop for a time during Sunday evening and the early hours of Monday.”

A later warning, added to the website yesterday evening, said widespread rain will be heavy in places, and exposed coastlines will face gale-force winds in the early hours of Monday with gusts up to 60 miles per hour.

Monday's bad weather is expected to calm by lunchtime, with sun and cloudless skies predicted for early afternoon.

But it will come too late for a giant tree that stood by St Augustin's Church in Wimborne Road, Bournemouth.

Yesterday, a huge branch from the tree fell, blocking part of the main road by the church.