3 Feb 2014

More rain and gales this week

It may be a new month, but the weather has no intention of changing anytime soon – much to the despair of those in Somerset, who are still badly flooded.

Whilst the sun has shown its unfamiliar face at the weekend, the Atlantic weather machine is recharging its batteries, poised to deliver more spells of rain and gales this week.

Provisional figures released by the Met Office last week show that southern England has had its wettest January on record, with most places having more than double the usual amount of rainfall.

This follows on from last month, when Scotland had its wettest December on record, as storm after storm slammed into the UK.

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Powerful jet stream

This winter has been remarkably different to the past few, in the sense that it has been dominated by a powerful jet stream zipping across the Atlantic Ocean.

Previous winters have been nowhere near as stormy and characterised by blocking areas of high pressure, bringing colder weather and snow.

Once again, this week will see the jet stream five miles above the Atlantic race to around 200mph, causing yet more vigorous areas of low pressure to arrive on our shores.

More rain and gales

The next deep area of low pressure is going to arrive later on Tuesday and continue to affect us through Wednesday, bringing two familiar hazards – rain and gales.

Weather computer models are currently suggesting that another 20-30mm of rain could fall in southern and western areas, with locally 40mm over the hills and mountains.

Given that the ground is saturated and river levels still high, this additional rain will bring the potential of further flooding problems.

Additionally, gale or severe gale-force winds, gusting as much as 60-70mph in southern and western areas will once more bring a risk of coastal flooding, as strong winds combine with high tides.

The outlook beyond Wednesday remains unsettled, with more rain potentially affecting southern areas on Thursday, before another deep area of low pressure arrives later on Friday.

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

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