Outlook less stormy but flood risk remains
Following weeks of storms, bringing widespread disruption across the UK, I’m sure you’ll be glad to hear that the outlook is looking less stormy – that’s the good news.
The bad news is that the flood risk is likely to remain for some time, with river levels high, the ground saturated and the inevitable fact that it won’t take much rain to change the situation quickly.
However, before I look ahead at what’s to come, I thought I’d take a look at some of the notable statistics from the last few weeks of turbulent weather.
How stormy has it been?
According to the Met Office, December 2013 was not only the windiest month the UK has seen since January 2003, but also the stormiest December in records that go back to 1969.
In addition, December was a very wet month nationwide, with Scotland having its wettest month ever, in records that began in 1910.
Less stormy outlook
A major player in the stormy spell of weather in recent weeks has been a powerful jet stream that has been travelling across the Atlantic ocean at around 230mph, five miles up in the atmosphere.
This has been due to unusually cold Arctic air in Canada colliding with sub-tropical air over the eastern Atlantic and super-charging the jet stream that is driven by contrasts in temperature.
However, in the coming seven to 10 days, the jet stream is not only going to slow down but also meander around more. This will result in the weather calming down with no storms expected, although there will still be some rain at times.
Flood risk to linger
The wet December has left the ground saturated, unable to soak up any more water, and river levels are high.
As a result, it won’t take much rain to fall to have an impact on the flooding situation and the Environment Agency and Scottish Environment Protection Agency will continue to be vital sources of information in the coming weeks.