STRONG winds and rain battered the area overnight and this morning, amid severe weather warnings.

Winds of 51mph were recorded along the Dorset coast.

There are reports of trees down across the county but no major travel disruption to date.

The Met Office has issued yellow warnings for "unseasonably strong" wind and rain in Dorset this weekend - with gusts expected to reach up 60 miles per hour on the coast.

The yellow warning is in place until 12am on Sunday.

Strong winds are expected to cause some disruption, particularly during Saturday daytime.

People are advised to take care on the coast, which could be hit by strong waves and spray.

Delays to rail, road, air and ferry travel are also predicted, as well as potential power cuts.

On Sunday weather will be changeable with a mix of sunshine and showers - however there is a possibility that showers could become heavy and thundery, according to the Met Office.

A flood alert has also been issued for some rivers and streams.

The flood alert is warning residents to be prepared.

According to the Environment Agency flooding is possible for the Rivers Lim, Char, Winniford, Simene, Brit, Asker, Mangerton and Bride.

Camp sites and caravan parks close to rivers are also said to be vulnerable to heavy rainfall.

But flooding of properties hasn’t been forecast at this point.

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “Further thundery rainfall is forecast over the next 18 hours. We are closely monitoring the situation. Our incident response staff are checking defences. Please be aware that rivers and streams in this area can respond very rapidly to heavy rainfall and quickly become dangerous.”

Meanwhile more flooding is expected in Purbeck.

A similar warning has been issued for rivers and streams in the area.

The spokesman added: “We believe there is a possibility of flooding for the Corfe Castle and Swanage areas.”

Meanwhile, HM Coastguard is issuing renewed safety advice for people planning a trip to the coast. 

This week's bad weather has already resulted in rock falls around the UK's coast, cliff edges get particularly unsafe after heavy rain.

Ian Guy, duty maritime operations controller for HM Coastguard said: "We want everyone to have a good weekend at the coast and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t, despite the bad weather. The key to staying safe is preparation and following a few basic guidelines. If you come across a cordon anywhere near a beach, remember it’s there for a reason. Don’t ignore it."

With strong winds and heavy rain forecast for the next few days, The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has published its seven top tips for keeping safe in coastal areas during bad weather. 

  • If in doubt, don’t go out! Are the skies darkening? Is the wind picking up? Check the weather forecast before you set off and if it all looks bad it probably is. Postpone your plans and do something on dry land instead. 
  • Check the local weather and tide times if you really do have to go out so you can be prepared
  • Windy coastlines and cliffside walks where the tide can easily cut you off are best avoided. Do not attempt to climb cliffs as a shortcut to the top, they are often crumbly and slippery, especially when the weather is bad.
  • Waves can be big and powerful enough in bad weather to knock adults, children and pets into the water and out to sea. Keep well back from the water’s edge or better still, stay dry at home!
  • Dramatic as it may look, huge waves crashing over quays, piers, cliffs and rocks are not the place for selfies and certainly not worth putting your life (or those of others) at risk.
  • If you do have to go out, take a mobile (and make sure it’s got enough battery life), tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back.
  •  Don’t take risks, but if you do get into trouble or see someone else in difficulty call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.