THE Environment Agency is closely monitoring weather forecasts for the next few days as the Met Office predicts heavy rainfall across Hampshire and Wiltshire and strong winds along the coast.

Western areas of Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and Wiltshire are forecast to see heavy rainfall (20 to 40mm) throughout the day tomorrow (Wednesday 19 December) and into Thursday (20 December). The Environment Agency is working hard to minimise any possible risk of flooding and is warning residents to take action now to reduce the risks and impacts.

The weather system could bring gale force winds and large waves which will affect the south coast on Wednesday and may lead to coastal alerts and minor disruption inland, with some impact from spray or wave overtopping.

Many rivers remain above their usual winter levels following the recent period of unsettled weather and are expected to rise further with heavy rainfall. Residents should be prepared for further flood alerts and possible flood warnings to be issued as the rivers react, particularly across Hampshire and into Berkshire.