THE Met Office has heightened its weather warning for the Yorkshire Dales to amber when Storm Dennis hits the country on Saturday- with potentially serious consequences for York downstream.

Forecasters are now predicting 24 hours of 'very heavy rain' in the catchment for the River Ouse from 3pm on Saturday to 3pmon Sunday.

They say flooding to homes and businesses is likely, as is fast flowing or deep floodwater, "causing danger to life."

They anticipate trains, buses and roads could be hit by closures, cancellations and delays, and there is a risk of communities being cut off by flooded roads and power cuts in affected areas.

Met Office meteorologist Matthew Box said higher locations could have rainfall levels of 50mm to 80mm over the course of the weekend, potentially rising to 140mm in some parts.

More widely, rain totals could be around 20mm to 40mm, with the Environment Agency urging people to check for flood warnings.

The River Ouse rose to 4.3 metres above normal summer levels in York earlier this week after Storm Ciara caused heavy rain in the Dales, but river levels had been relatively normal before the storm.

River levels are still high, at 3.3 metres above normal, and a flood warning remains in force, prior to the arrival of the weekend rain.