Flood risk fear as heavy rain set to lash Devon and Cornwall
Heavy rain looks set to end an unsettled week of weather and follows days of icy temperatures.
Two days of persistent rain have been forecast for Thursday and Friday in Devon and Cornwall with spells of heavy rain across the wider Westcountry.
More than an inch of rain (30mm) is expected across many parts of the region, equal to one third of the average monthly rainfall for March.
The heaviest rain is set to fall over the moors and hills, with up to 2 inches (50mm) predicted on Dartmoor and Exmoor.
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The Exeter-based Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning advising people to "be aware" of heavy rainfall.
Met Office spokesman Helen Chivers said: "Miserable weather is on the way unfortunately.
"Today there will be a mixture of sunshine and showers in Devon and Cornwall, with the possibility of heavy thundery and possibility hail showers.
"The heavy rain will come into parts of Cornwall and South Devon on Thursday morning, setting the tone for the next couple of days."
Some improvement is expected later on Friday, but there is still the likelihood of localised heavy showers.
Ms Chivers added: "With the ground already saturated, there is a risk of flooding in some parts."
The Met Office warning runs from 12pm on Thursday until 5pm on Friday.
Matt Dobson, a forecaster for MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said the conditions continue a cold month across the UK which has brought an unwelcome delay to springtime.
Mr Dobson said that the continued cold weather is uncommon for March.
He said: "Whether you think that spring officially starts on March 1 or March 21, this is certainly unusually cold for this time of year.
"It's very cold for mid-March when we should expect much higher temperatures.
"It's not unusual for it to snow in March, in fact we are far more likely to see snow at Easter than at Christmas.
"What is unusual for March is how persistent the cold weather and snow is."
He added that it is too early to predict snow for Easter.