Britain is on flood alert as high winds and heavy rainfall swept in from in from the South West.

The Environment Agency has warned residents - many still mopping up after last month's widespread flooding - to brace themselves for a combination of heavy rain and storm surges, in a front dubbed "the pest from the west."

floods

Water hassle: Residents have been warned to prepare for flooding

Thirteen flood warnings have been issued across the South West and Wales, while a further 47 areas across Scotland, England and Wales have been told to prepare for possible flooding.

Wales will be among the worst hit areas on Friday, with the wet weather expected to mar Prince Charles' day-long tour of the country.

He is due to visit the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, in Carmarthen, an area subject to a flood warning where more than an inch of rain is forecast.

uk weather

The beast from the east brought cold weather: now Britons are being warned of rain and floods

The Environment Agency has also issued a flood alert near Swansea and Port Talbot, where Charles is due to make his first stops.

The ground in parts of south and west Wales remains saturated from last month's heavy rainfall, the agency said.

In West Yorkshire this morning, road users were warned to take extra care after a high number of collisions caused by vehicles skidding on black ice.

The weather conditions were causing disruption on the county's motorway network, including the closure of sections of the M1 and A1.

Areas affected by collisions included both the north and southbound carriageways of the M1 and A1 at various locations, the east and westbound carriageways of the M62 in a number of places and the M606 motorway near Bradford.

The southbound carriageway of the M1 was closed near junction 41 and the A1 southbound was closed near to junction 45.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said the force was asking people to take "extreme care" when travelling to work.

He said: "West Yorkshire Police has received an exceptionally high amount of road traffic collisions throughout the early hours of the day, mainly on each of the major motorway networks due to vehicles skidding on black ice. Collisions are still being reported."

The spokesman continued: "So far we have had no reports of serious injuries but numerous reports of road traffic collisions."

He added: "Emergency services are still dealing with many of these incidents and are working hard to clear the carriageways."

Between 20mm and 30mm of rain is expected to fall over the next 24 hours in the South West and Wales.

High winds of up to 60mph will affect much of the UK, reaching up to 70mph in north-east Scotland.

Heavy rain has already started to fall across the South West, which will bear the brunt of the severe weather

Gareth Harvey, a meteorologist for MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "A band of heavy rain is going to move through the South West of England, with much of the UK affected by it.

"It will sweep north-eastwards throughout the day and cause localised flooding in some areas which will get up to 30mm of rain in 24 hours.

"It will be a very wet and windy day before it starts to clear."

The public have been advised to stay away from seafronts, quaysides and jetties along the south coast to avoid powerful waves.

The agency said there is a risk of flooding in south and west Wales, where ground remains saturated from previous rainfall.

Nick Roseveare, of the Environment Agency, said: "We are keeping a close eye on conditions around our coastline and will issue flood warnings if the risk of flooding increases.

"The critical periods will be the early morning tides over the next three days.

"If they coincide with rain, there's a risk of tide-locking, where water is held in rain-swollen rivers and cannot escape into the sea because of the high tides. This could result in localised flooding."

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  • Freezing Fog And Frost Hit The UK

    LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: The early morning frost clings to a cobweb in Regents Park on December 12, 2012 in London, England. Forecasters have warned that the UK could experience the coldest day of the year so far today, with temperatures dropping as low as -14C, bringing widespread ice, harsh frosts and freezing fog. Travel disruption is expected with warnings for heavy snow in some parts of the country. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

  • Winter weather December 12th

    British Airways planes wait to depart from Terminal 5 at Heathrow, London, as airports have been forced to cancel dozens of flights as ice and thick fog descended on the UK overnight.

  • Winter weather December 12th

    Frozen berries on a tree in South Derbyshire. Freezing fog played havoc with travel today, with flights cancelled, roads jammed and delays on main line rail and Tube services.

  • Winter weather December 12th

    A British Airways takes off as thick fog leads to cancelled flights at Heathrow Airport.

  • Winter weather December 12th

    A British Airways plane as thick fog leads to cancelled flights at Heathrow Airport.

  • Winter weather December 12th

    A horse stands in minus 3 degrees in a field near Heathrow Airport as thick fog leads to cancelled flights.

  • Winter weather December 12th

    A man walks up Cam Peak in the Cotswolds as cold temperatures lead to a frost.

  • A jogger runs across frost covered grass in a park in London, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012. Flights at London's Heathrow and City airports have been disrupted by morning fog. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

  • Winter weather December 12th

    A severe overnight frost gives a seasonal look to Strensall Golf Club near York as early golfers set off on their round.

  • Hoar frost on a bush in Kemble, near Stroud, central England, as cold temperatures led to a severe frost. Overnight temperatures in the area dipped to -9 Celsius, 16 Fahrenheit. (AP Photo/PA, Tim Ireland) UNITED KINGDOM OUT NO SALES NO ARCHIVE

  • Winter weather December 12th

    Hoar frost on a bush in Kemble, Gloucestershire, as cold temperatures lead to a frost.

  • Winter weather December 12th

    The view from Cam Peak in the Cotswolds as cold temperatures lead to a frost.

  • Pedestrians walk along a bank of the River Thames just after sunrise in London, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012. Flights at London's Heathrow and City airport have been disrupted by morning fog. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

  • Fog clears from Tower Bridge which spans the River Thames in London, Wednesday, Dec.12, 2012. Flights at London's Heathrow and City airport have been disrupted by morning fog. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

  • Winter weather December 12th

    A severe overnight frost gives a seasonal look to Strensall Golf Club near York as early golfers set off on their round.

  • Winter weather December 12th

    Frost covers fields and trees near Arundel, West Sussex where temperatures failed to rise above zero degrees Celsius before lunch.

  • Winter weather December 12th

    Frost clings to trees near Arundel, West Sussex where temperatures failed to rise above zero degrees Celsius before lunch.

  • Winter weather December 12th

    Frost clings to a fence near Arundel, West Sussex where temperatures failed to rise above zero degrees Celsius before lunch.

  • Winter weather December 12th

    General view of mist on the London Skyline as temperatures struggle to reach 2 degrees in the capital, London.

  • Winter weather December 12th

    General view of mist on the London Skyline as temperatures struggle to reach 2 degrees in the capital, London.

  • Winter weather December 12th

    Dog walkers in the frost at Rother Valley Country Park, near Sheffield.

  • Winter weather December 12th

    Frost covers a sign near Arundel, West Sussex where temperatures failed to rise above zero degrees Celsius before lunch.

  • A horse feeds under a tree as frost covers fields and trees around Arundel, West Sussex, England, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012. (AP Photo/PA, Chris Ison) UNITED KINGDOM OUT, NO SALES, NO ARCHIVE

  • Winter weather December 12th

    Frost covers fields and trees near Arundel, West Sussex where temperatures failed to rise above zero degrees Celsius before lunch.

  • Winter weather December 12th

    People look at the trees at Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire as cold temperatures lead to a frost.

  • Winter weather December 12th

    People look at the trees at Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire as cold temperatures lead to a frost.

  • Winter weather December 12th

    A person walks past the trees at Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire as cold temperatures lead to a frost.

  • Winter weather December 12th

    General view of mist on the London Skyline as temperatures struggle to reach 2 degrees in the capital, London.

  • People look at the trees at Westonbirt Arboretum, near Stroud, central England, as cold temperatures led to a severe frost. Overnight temperatures in the area dipped to -9 Celsius, 16 Fahrenheit. (AP Photo/PA, Tim Ireland) UNITED KINGDOM OUT NO SALES NO ARCHIVE

  • Winter weather December 12th

    People look at the trees at Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire as cold temperatures lead to a frost.

  • Winter weather December 12th

    A person looks out over a foggy scene near Dursley in Gloucestershire as cold temperatures lead to a frost.

  • Winter weather December 12th

    Frost clings to a dinghy in Emsworth, Hampshire as the cold snap continues.

  • Winter weather December 12th

    General view of mist on the London Skyline as temperatures struggle to reach 2 degrees in the capital, London.

  • Winter weather December 12th

    A dog walker in the frost at Rother Valley Country Park, near Sheffield.

  • Winter weather December 12th

    Dog walkers in the frost at Rother Valley Country Park, near Sheffield.

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  • Heavy Rain Causes Disruption For Parts Of The UK

    WELLS, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 21: A car sits stuck in flood water on a lane in the village of Chilcompton on November 21, 2012 near Wells, England. Heavy rain overnight has brought widespread disruption to many parts of the UK particularly in Somerset and Wiltshire and weather forecasters have warned of more wet and windy weather to come.(Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Autumn weather November 22nd

    A man walks along the sea front in Helensburgh, Scotland, as the UK is braced for another day of deluges and flooding as heavy rain sweeps across the country.

  • Autumn weather November 22nd

    A fishing trawler heads for the safety of Whitby harbour as the UK is braced for another day of deluges and flooding as heavy rain sweeps across the country.

  • Autumn weather November 22nd

    A small dog being rescued after becoming stuck near a sea wall during high winds in Helensburgh, Scotland, as the UK is braced for another day of deluges and flooding as heavy rain sweeps across the country.

  • Autumn weather November 22nd

    A small dog being rescued after becoming stuck near a sea wall during high winds in Helensburgh, Scotland, as the UK is braced for another day of deluges and flooding as heavy rain sweeps across the country.

  • Autumn weather November 22nd

    The P&O Spirit of Britain is buffeted by strong winds as she arrives at The Port of Dover, Kent as the UK is braced for another day of deluges and flooding as heavy rain and wind sweeps across the country.

  • Flash Floods Cause Chaos In The South West

    KEYNSHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 23: A man uses his boat to get through flood water that has covered the car park of Portavon Marina, on November 23, 2012 in Keynsham, England. A man died during flooding near Bath yesterday as stormy weather is expected to continue over the weekend. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Heavy Rain Causes Disruption For Parts Of The UK

    WELLS, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 21: A car sits stuck in flood water on a lane in the village of Chilcompton on November 21, 2012 near Wells, England. Heavy rain overnight has brought widespread disruption to many parts of the UK particularly in Somerset and Wiltshire and weather forecasters have warned of more wet and windy weather to come.(Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Heavy Rain Causes Disruption For Parts Of The UK

    WELLS, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 21: A car sits stuck in flood water on a lane in the village of Chilcompton on November 21, 2012 near Wells, England. Heavy rain overnight has brought widespread disruption to many parts of the UK particularly in Somerset and Wiltshire and weather forecasters have warned of more wet and windy weather to come.(Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Autumn weather November 21st

    Cars negotiate floodwater near Tetbury, Gloucestershire, as motorists were urged to take greater care on Britain's roads today after overnight downpours caused some drivers to abandon their vehicles as public highways flooded.

  • Autumn weather November 21st

    Cars negotiate floodwater near Tetbury, Gloucestershire, as motorists were urged to take greater care on Britain's roads today after overnight downpours caused some drivers to abandon their vehicles as public highways flooded.

  • Autumn weather November 21st

    Cars make their way through floods in the village of Norton near Worcester, as motorists were urged to take greater care on Britain's roads today after overnight downpours caused some drivers to abandon their vehicles as public highways flooded.

  • Autumn weather November 21st

    Cars make their way through floods in the village of Norton near Worcester, as motorists were urged to take greater care on Britain's roads today after overnight downpours caused some drivers to abandon their vehicles as public highways flooded.

  • Autumn weather November 21st

    A car is stranded in flood water in the village of Norton near Worcester, as motorists were urged to take greater care on Britain's roads today after overnight downpours caused some drivers to abandon their vehicles as public highways flooded.

  • Autumn weather November 21st

    Cars make their way through floods in the village of Norton near Worcester, as motorists were urged to take greater care on Britain's roads today after overnight downpours caused some drivers to abandon their vehicles as public highways flooded.

  • Flooding hits UK

    Locals make their way in a boat along a flooded road in Felpham near Bognor Regis in West Sussex, after the South East and mid Wales were worst hit by the rain which has battered Britain.

  • Storms lash Britain

    A man works on a damaged house in Crowhill Street, Glasgow, after fierce storms battered Britain yesterday.

  • Storms lash Britain

    Following the storms of yesterday river levels were rising in places like York city centre, where the River Ouse broke its banks and flooded riverside streets.

  • Storms lash Britain

    A tree rests on three cars in Havant, Hampshire as fierce storms battered Britain today, with heavy rain and winds gusting up to 85mph.

  • Storms lash Britain

    Workers clear away fallen trees in the centre of Edinburgh after fierce storms battered Britain yesterday.

  • Flooding hits UK

    A general view of a flooded road in Felpham near Bognor Regis in West Sussex, after the South East and mid Wales were worst hit by the rain which has battered Britain.

  • Autumn weather November 22nd

    A small dog being rescued after becoming stuck near a sea wall during high winds in Helensburgh, Scotland, as the UK is braced for another day of deluges and flooding as heavy rain sweeps across the country.

  • Flash Floods Cause Chaos In The South West

    CHEW STOKE, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 23: A Land Rover drives near a ford, where a man died after being washed away and trapped in flood waters in Chew Stoke, on November 23, 2012 in Somerset, England. The man died after becoming trapped in his 4x4 car in flood water last night as heavy rain continued to bring chaos to large parts of the country. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Flash Floods Cause Chaos In The South West

    KEYNSHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 23: Two men wade through flood water that has covered the car park for Portavon Marina, on November 23, 2012 in Keynsham, England. A man died during flooding near Bath yesterday as stormy weather is expected to continue over the weekend. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)