Rain-hit UK set for more stormy weather

  • A small dog being rescued after becoming stuck near a sea wall during high winds in Helensburgh, Scotland. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA Wire.

    A vehicle manages to get across the flooded Somerset Levels as heavy rain continues to fall on already drenched fields and swollen rivers in the area. Photo: Ben Birchall/PA Wire.

    The P&O Spirit of Britain is buffeted by strong winds as she arrives at The Port of Dover, Kent. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire.

  • Rain-hit UK set for more stormy weather
    24.11.2012 14:58


    With wet and windy conditions already having caused havoc in many parts of the UK, the public is braced for another round of stormy weather through tonight and tomorrow.

    So far this week…

    Substantial amounts of rain have fallen across much of the UK this week, particularly in western parts of Britain. The higher-than-average rainfall has been caused by a succession of deep depressions and associated slow-moving fronts. The tardy clearance of the fronts has meant that persistent, heavy rain accumulated in certain locations, causing the ground to become saturated and rivers to swell.

    The problem has become compounded due to the multitude of significant rainfall events over the UK during the past week, dumping increasing amounts of precipitation on areas already vulnerable to flooding.

    The torrential rainfall this week has already caused several flood events, mainly in western Scotland, Cumbria, Wales, the Midlands and south-west England. The stormy weather has brought damage to around 300 properties and hundreds of homes lost power in Dumfries and Galloway due to lightning strikes. Several rail services were delayed or suspended too, such as First Great Western services into the south-west and Arriva Train Wales lines in north Wales, whilst cross-Channel ferry crossings also suffered delays. Flooding has also caused the fatality of a man whose car became trapped in flood waters under a bridge in Chew Stoke near Bath. Another elderly man is missing, believed to have drowned in a swollen river in Berkshire on Friday morning.

    What happens next?

    After the brief respite from the winds and rain through Friday and early Saturday, the stormy weather is set to return on tonight. Winds gusting up to 70mph are expected to batter southern and eastern areas, with further heavy rainfall forecast too. The wet conditions are set to bring renewed flooding to many stricken areas, particularly in south-west England and Wales. Several train services have been suspended in light of the anticipated stormy weather, such as the Network Rail service between Bristol and Exeter. The Environment Agency currently has 44 flood warnings in force for England and Wales, meaning flooding is expected, and a further 154 alerts for possible flooding.

    Case study: Yeovilton

    Yeovilton in Somerset has had notably high rainfall totals, with 100m of rain falling so far this month, 62mm of which has been in this week alone. This means precipitation totals are already 38% above the November average, with another 40mm forecast to fall over the rest of the weekend.

    By: Laura Caldwell