HEAVY rain could cause flooding and travel disruption today (Thursday), the Met Office has forecast in a weather warning including the New Forest and Christchurch.
The low-level yellow alert runs from 10am until 6pm tonight, with a prediction of bus and train services likely to take longer in the wet conditions.
A caution was also issued to drivers to watch out for spray and flooding on roads, as the ground is already saturated from heavy rain in recent weeks.
The overall affected area runs along England’s southern shoreline from just west of Swanage east to the Kent coast.
The forecast said: “Rain will become persistent, with some heavy bursts at times. 10-20mm rain is likely to fall widely, with up to 30mm in a few places.
“Given saturated ground, this may lead to some localised flooding. The rain will slowly clear from the west later this afternoon and early evening.”
The Met Office advice’s for motorists in wet weather is never to drive through flood water but to turn around and find another route.
In recent months fire services have had to rescue drivers whose cars have become stranded, including five in one day in Derritt Lane, Bransgore, in January.
The Met Office said: “Although the water may seem shallow, just 12ins (30cm) of moving water can float your car, potentially taking it to deeper water from which you may need rescuing.
“Flood water also contains hidden hazards which can damage your car, and just an egg-cupful of water sucked into your car’s engine will lead to severe damage.”
Today’s weather warning is the latest to hit the area this year following Storms Ciara, Dennis and Jorge.
As well as felling trees and flooding roads, the conditions have badly damaged Milford’s sea wall and in February caused a precautionary evacuation of Iford Bridge Home Park in Christchurch.