31 Oct 2013

Heavy rain, gales and flood risk for next few days

After a brief respite following Monday’s storm that caused damage and disruption across southern and eastern parts of England, the weather is likely to turn more unsettled in the next few days.

The reason for this is the jet stream – the fast-moving ribbon of air five miles up that determines the weather that we experience at the surface.

At the moment, and for the next two weeks, it’s going to sit over or just south of the UK, which puts us in the path of further areas of low pressure bringing more wind and rain.


Wet and windy weather is to be expected at this time of year, given that the jet stream is making its seasonal shift southwards. However, there is no doubt that Monday’s storm packed a punch and proved to be the worst since October 2002.

In the next few days, there’ll be three main elements that may cause a few problems – heavy rain, strong winds and flooding.

Heavy rain

Friday to Monday will see England and Wales have the greatest amount of rainfall due to areas of low pressure taking a more southerly track over the UK.

flood_sign_g_wpEngland and Wales could see 15-30mm quite widely by the end of Monday, with some places seeing as much as 30-50mm.

Given that the ground is wet from the rainfall over the past week, there is a risk of localised surface water flooding.

Scotland and Northern Ireland will tend to have showers rather than longer spells of persistent rain, so problems are unlikely here.

Strong winds

As low pressure systems pass over the south of the UK, the wind is expected to strengthen from time to time.

However, at the moment, there are no signs of winds as strong or as damaging as those experienced in Monday’s storm.

Nevertheless, England and Wales could experience gusts of wind of 50-60mph at the coast, with gusts of 35-50mph inland.

Whilst not as strong as the winds in Monday’s storm, there will have been trees and other structures loosened, so there’s still a risk of some minor damage.

Scotland and Northern Ireland will have gusty winds with heavy showers in the coming days, but they’ll ease through the weekend.

Flood risk

The latest Environment Agency three-day flood forecast suggests a low risk of flooding for England and Wales. As I mentioned, surface water flooding is a risk due to the heavy rainfall expected.

wave_coast_g_wpAn additional concern is large waves along the south coast of England – especially Dorset – causing some minor coastal flooding as large waves whipped up by the wind overtop some sea walls.

As ever, you can find the latest forecast on the Channel 4 Weather website. I’ll also be posting regular updates on Twitter – @liamdutton

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