People have been urged to stay safe at the coast and not put themselves at risk ahead of Storm Dennis sweeping in on Saturday.

Storm Dennis is expected to arrive around 12pm on Saturday lunchtime through to Sunday lunchtime.

At this stage, Storm Dennis is not expected to be quite as powerful as the recent Storm Ciara in terms of strength of wind, but is expected to bring more rain than Ciara.

The forecast wind and rain may cause further damage, especially as trees and structures may have been weakened by Storm Ciara, and the ground is saturated which may cause short-term localised flooding.

Rob Sansom, Senior Coastal Operations Officer, HM Coastguard, said of the recent Storm Ciara: “Images of people dodging waves and taking selfies during extreme weather are alarming and they are incredibly lucky that they weren’t swept out to sea or injured.

"With the arrival of Storm Dennis, especially so quickly after the last storm, the seas have been unforgiving and we cannot stress enough that piers, rocks, harbours and the water’s edge are not safe places to be when the weather is bad.

“Playing chicken with waves is extremely dangerous. It can be slippery and because there is little to hold onto, even a small wave can come out of nowhere and quickly wash you off and into the sea. Equally so, no photograph or selfie is worth risking your life for.

“We would urge people to think carefully about the risks they take and be extremely careful when near any body of water during bad weather.

“If you see anyone in trouble call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”

Drivers should be aware of the weather conditions and check routes before starting their journey and avoid unnecessary journeys. Dorset Council’s Highways teams will be on standby to respond to any road closures.

Dorset Council is also asking people to stay away from cliffs as the risk of rock falls and land slips is increased, and make sure garden furniture is secure.