HAMPSHIRE has today been issued with a major flooding alert.

It comes as a Government minister for flooding visits Winchester, where authorities battled to save homes from the water.

The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning for the whole of the south of England.

It is warning Hampshire can expect scattered heavy showers, thunderstorms and even hail this afternoon from around 1pm until around 8pm this evening, with a risk of localised flooding.

This is due to a deeply unstable air mass over the south of England, which could lead to as much as 15 mm of rain in less than an hour in some places with 25 mm possible in three hours.

Forecasters say there could be a risk of surface water for drivers and say they are monitoring the situation carefully as it develops.

The Environment Agency already has flood alerts out for several areas in Hampshire at risk.

They warn of possible flooding at Old Alresford, north of Winchester, and Bishops Sutton, near Alresford where groundwater levels remain high.

As parts of Hampshire prepare for possible further flooding misery, Greg Barker MP will be visiting the worst affected areas in Hampshire including Winchester.

He is one of a team of ministerial special flood envoys who will report back to the Prime Minister on the floods.

Steve Brine MP and representatives from Hampshire County Council, Winchester City Council and the Environment Agency are accompanying the minister to show what action was taken to prevent flooding and the recovery efforts.

Mr Barker, who is a Minister in the Department for Energy and Climate Change, is being shown the banks of the River Itchen where water overtopped to flood parts of Winchester in February.