The Met Office has warned a combination of gale-force winds and large waves mean an increased risk of floods and tidal surges which could affect the River Trent.
Winds of around 90mph have been forecast for today and tomorrow and the resulting surge could lift water levels above sea defences along most of the east coast of England.
The agency said the North Sea coast from Northumberland to Kent and the tidal reaches of the River Trent in Nottinghamshire, were most at risk.
The Met Office has warned the short, sharp, stormy spell will hit over the next 48 hours.
Environment Agency chief executive Dr Paul Leinster said: “Flooding of some coastal communities is expected and some defences could be overtopped by the high tides, high winds and a tidal surge.”
“The Environment Agency is monitoring the situation closely, working alongside partners including the emergency services, Met Office and local authorities.”
“Environment Agency teams are out on the ground checking that flood defences and barriers are in good working order, monitoring sea levels and issuing flood warnings.”