24 December 2012 - Following widespread heavy rain in recent days, the Met Office and the Environment Agency are advising the public to stay aware of the latest forecasts and warnings as unsettled weather continues this week.
While there is a generally improving picture in many places, further travel disruption and flooding is possible due to waterlogged ground and high river levels.
Bands of heavy rain have affected the UK since last Wednesday with more than a month's worth of rain falling in some places. The persistent, heavy rain is expected to ease for Christmas Day and into Boxing Day, with a mixture of sunshine and showers in most parts.
Tim Hewson, Met Office Chief Forecaster, said: "Following a very wet and windy few days, we expect brighter skies for many on Christmas Day - although there will be some heavy showers around. We will continue to see spells of heavy rain through the rest of the week and this will fall onto already waterlogged ground in many areas, bringing the continuing risk of localised flooding.
"We will be monitoring the situation and keeping everyone up-to-date with the latest picture through our forecasts and warnings. By thinking ahead the public can be more weather aware and better prepared for severe weather."
John Curtin, Head of Incident Management at the Environment Agency, said: "Flooding is devastating at any time of year, but it is particularly hard at Christmas time, and our thoughts are with those who will be out of their homes over the festive period.
"Although the rain is set to ease a little in the coming days, the ground is still very wet and river levels remain high, so we would ask people to keep up to date with the latest warnings and stay prepared for flooding. We also remind people not to walk or drive through flood water - which can be extremely dangerous.
"Environment Agency flood defences have protected more than 21,000 homes in the past week and our teams continue to work around the clock to keep communities safe."
The unsettled weather looks set to continue throughout this week and into the weekend when strong to gale force southwesterly winds will bring spells of heavy rain across the UK at times.
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