17 Jan 2014

Flood risk continues with more rain expected this weekend

Since the recent stormy spell came to an end, the weather has been relatively subdued, but still, it hasn’t taken much rain to allow the problem of flooding to rear its ugly head.

Heavy showers over south east England last night gave around 30mm in places, resulting in flooding that has led to the closure of roads and railways, as well as causing river levels to rise.

Normally, 30mm of rain wouldn’t be a problem, but given the fact that the ground is saturated and river levels are still high, the sensitivity to even modest amounts of rainfall is still elevated.


How wet has it been lately?

Storm after storm during December brought copious amounts of rain, with the UK as a whole having rainfall that was 54 per cent above average.

Scotland not only had its wettest December ever, but also its wettest month ever, in records that date back to 1910.

The first half of January has seen the wet weather continue, with the UK having 72 per cent of its normal January rainfall halfway through the month.

Even more remarkable is that in the same period, 1-15 January, England has seen 97 per cent of its normal January rainfall.

It is no surprise that the ground is saturated and river levels still high, with rain continuing to fall.

More rain this weekend

weatherfronts_17thJan_MO_wpThe bad news is that more rain is expected to fall this weekend as weather fronts stagger their way across the UK.

One problem is that they may be fairly slow-moving at times, which means that some places will have the potential to see modest amounts of rain.

On Saturday, rain will spread northwards over many areas, with the heaviest bursts for western parts of the UK. For eastern areas, the rain will tend to be somewhat lighter.

On Sunday, it’s likely to be the other way round, with eastern areas seeing the heaviest bursts of rain, with western areas brighter.

As a result, the Environment Agency has highlighted southern parts of England and Wales as having the greatest risk of surface water and river flooding this weekend.

floodrisk_17thJan_EA_wpEven looking further ahead into next week, drier, brighter days will be punctuated by further spells of rain. Therefore, the risk of flooding is not going to go away anytime soon.

Don’t forget, you can get the latest forecast on the Channel 4 Weather website. I’ll also be posting updates on Twitter – @liamdutton

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