GLOUCESTERSHIRE and north Wiltshire are set to experience a wet and windy start to the new year, with a weather warning in place for Wednesday and heavy rain scheduled for Thursday lunchtime.

The warning predicts high winds of 20mph around the district with gusts of around 40 mph likely.

The yellow weather warning, which is in place from 5am on Wednesday morning until 10pm that night, is put in place when there is a small chance of injuries and danger to life, as well as minor property damage, from flying debris.

There is also small chance of transport delays, route and bridge closures, and cancellations to public transport.

As well as this, there is a small chance of disruption to power and other services.

Andy Page, the Met Office’s chief forecaster, said: “The unsettled theme continues throughout this week, with further spells of rain moving across the UK from the west.

“The wind will pick up again later on Tuesday and Wednesday is expected to be very windy across England and Wales, with gales or severe gales in places and national severe weather warnings have been issued for these strong winds.

“The gales, combined with locally thundery downpours, may make driving difficult and cause some disruption.”

A band of heavy rain will hit Gloucestershire on Thursday lunchtime as it moves eastwards across the country, but Friday will see a return to sunny spells and frequent blustery showers.