25 Jan 2016

Remnants of US snowstorm to bring rain and gales to UK

After a relatively quiet, settled and cold spell of weather across the UK, this week will see a return to heavy rain, gales and a risk of flooding.

The first spell of wet and windy weather will arrive during Tuesday, as an area of low pressure – the remnants of the US snowstorm that hit the north east of the country at the weekend – sweeps in off the Atlantic.

However, it’ll bring us heavy rain and gales, rather than snow, because it has picked up some warm, moist, tropical air whilst travelling across the Atlantic Ocean.

winter in england

Even though it will give some lively weather during Tuesday and into Wednesday, the level of impacts won’t be anywhere near the scale of those experienced in the US.

Flood risk returns

Prior to the recent spell of cold weather, the UK had a turbulent December and start to January, with serious flooding in northern and western parts of the country.

Record breaking amounts of rain fell, in what was the wettest calendar month on record for the UK, with rainfall 91 per cent above normal.

Capel Curig in Conwy had over a metre of rain during December, smashing the previous December record of 613mm by a huge margin.

rain_warning_MO_wpAs a result of the rainfall during December, the ground is still saturated across the UK, meaning that although it hasn’t rained heavily for some time, it won’t take too much to cause problems.

During Tuesday into Wednesday, 20-50mm of rain could widely fall across south west England, Wales, north west England, along with southern and western parts of Scotland.

Over the hills and mountains in these areas, there could be as much as 60-100mm, which is why the Met Office has issued a yellow “be aware” warning.

The Environment Agency and Scottish Environment Protection Agency currently say that there is a low risk of flooding during Tuesday, with the expectation that any that does occur will be localised.

Wet and windy all week

Aside from rain, tomorrow’s area of low pressure will bring strong winds, with gales or severe gales in the north and west of the country.

jetstream_atlantic_WZ_wpGusts of wind will widely reach 35-50mph, with coasts and hills seeing gusts of 50-70mph for a time.

The rest of the week will stay very unsettled, as the jet stream picks up speed 30,000ft above the Atlantic Ocean, reaching speeds in excess of 200mph at times.

This will not only spawn deep areas of low pressure, but carry them in the vicinity of the UK, leading to further spells of heavy rain, which will keep the risk of localised flooding going until the weekend.

At the moment, apart from brief chillier spells, there are no signs of any notably cold weather on the horizon for the foreseeable future.

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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