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13 December 2011

Severe weather warnings issued for UK

Weather warnings are in place as strong winds, heavy rain and snow move across the UK.

Severe gale-force winds have already closed part of the Tamar Bridge, a main route between Devon and Cornwall.

The Met Office has issued yellow "be aware" warnings for wind and rain for all regions except Eastern England and Orkney and Shetland.

It said this week will mark one of the stormiest periods of weather for several years.

On Monday into Tuesday, heavy showers may fall as snow on hills above 100m in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the East Midlands, it said.

There may also be slushy accumulations of snow at lower levels and some roads will become icy, it says.

Winds are already gusting in excess of 60mph in south-west England and the south coast. They will move over the country and pick up strength again in the north.

Scotland's transport minister Keith Brown has warned that snow and high winds could lead to rush-hour disruption for drivers on Tuesday.

Environment Agency Wales (EAW) has advised people to remain alert for localised flooding, with heavy rain and strong winds forecast. EAW said parts of south Wales were expected to be worst affected

BBC Wales weather presenter Behnaz Akhgar says gusts of up to 70mph (112km/h) are possible on exposed coastlines and high ground.

The Environment Agency has issued flood alerts on a number of rivers in south-west England.

In Devon and Cornwall, the Met Office has warned that gusts could reach 70mph, with the potential to cause damage. Heavy rain is also expected, with conditions unlikely to improve until the early hours of Tuesday.

The severe weather has resulted in the cancellation of Brittany Ferries services to and from France.

The Met Office says early indications suggest there is a potential for another storm system to affect parts of England and Wales later on Thursday and into Friday.

Go to the BBC Weather Page for more detailed information on your area.