The Environment agency has opened its national incident room and is working closely with local government and emergency services to ensure coastal areas are prepared as the wind and waves escalate.
Environment Agency Director of Operations, Paul Leinster said: “There will be a potent cocktail of strong winds, wave action and high tides tonight through until Wednesday.
'The gale force winds will combine with spring high tides to significantly elevate the water levels along the coast by up to 1.5 metres over normal levels which is likely to cause some flooding. Strong winds initially from the south are expected, then shifting to the west during the Monday causing severe gales, with further gales forecast for later in the day, right through until Wednesday.
“The timing of these weather systems with high tide is crucial. Anyone living in low lying exposed coastal areas of Wales, south west and southern England should make sure they are monitoring the situation from this afternoon onwards by checking flood updates on the Environment Agency website or ringing Floodline.
'We understand that people are fascinated by the sea but at times like this we do urge them not to go and watch the high waves – it is extremely dangerous and only takes a few seconds for someone to be knocked off their feet, into the water.”
Of particular concern are the western and southern coast of Wales, Devon and Cornwall including the Bristol Channel up to Avonmouth, and the southern coastline of England.
Since the last severe gale force storm to hit the south west of England in 1981, the Environment Agency has protected 37,000 extra properties from coastal flooding in this region.
The Met Office and Environment Agency are continually monitoring the forecast. People are advised to stay in touch with the latest weather forecast and warnings on the Met Office website, and tune into local radio and TV. Those concerned by the risk of coastal flooding should call Floodline on 0845 988 1188 for the latest flood warnings in their area.