Motorists have been urged to take extra care crossing the M48 Severn Bridge this weekend as the country prepares for the arrival of Storm Dennis.
Most of the UK has been covered by yellow Met Office warnings for rain and wind, with gales of up to 50mph expected.
Small areas of amber warnings have also been dotted around the UK, including one in Newport – just 30 miles away from Bristol.
(Image: Met Office)
With similar levels of disruption expected, Highways England has warned drivers to be prepared for Storm Dennis.
In particular, those driving high-sided HGVs, caravans and motorcycles are being advised to check weather conditions before setting out on journeys.
They are also being advised to pay attention to exposed locations such as coastal areas and bridges, such as the M48 Severn Crossing, which could be affected by high winds.
Highways England’s head of road safety, Richard Leonard, said: “We’re encouraging drivers to check the latest weather and travel conditions before setting off on journeys and consider if their journey is necessary and can be delayed until conditions improve.
“If you do intend to travel, then plan your journey and take extra care, allowing more time for your journey.
“In heavy rain, drivers should keep well back from the vehicle in front, gradually ease off the accelerator if the steering becomes unresponsive, and slow down if the rain and spray from vehicles makes it difficult to see and be seen.
“In high winds, there’s a particular risk to lorries, caravans and motorbikes so we’d advise drivers of these vehicles to slow down.
“Drivers of other vehicles should be aware of sudden gusts of wind which can affect handling and braking, and give high-sided vehicles, caravans, and motorbikes plenty of space.
“In the event of persistent high winds we may need to close bridges to traffic for a period, so please be alert for warnings of closures and follow signed diversion routes.”
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What to expect
According to the Met Office, spells of heavy and prolonged rain are expected to affect parts of England and Wales over the weekend with a higher likelihood of impacts now expected in some areas.
Around 20-40 mm of rain will fall widely with 50-80 mm likely across parts of northern and southern England
Over the higher ground of Wales and southwest England, 120-140 mm of rain is possible in a few locations.
This rain is expected to fall across areas already wet from recent rainfall.
Strong winds in association with Storm Dennis are expected on Saturday and Sunday across many parts of England and Wales.
The strongest winds are likely to be on Saturday afternoon and evening, with a lull overnight, before increasing again during Sunday.
When are the warnings in place?
The yellow weather warning for wind covering the whole of England and Wales is in place from 10am tomorrow (February 15) to 11.59pm on Sunday (February 16).
The yellow weather warning for rain is in place from 12pm tomorrow until 9pm on Sunday.
The amber weather warning for rain in Wales is in place between 3pm tomorrow and 3pm on Sunday.