Storm Christoph sparks emergency Cobra meeting as severe warnings are extended
Boris Johnson told MPs he will chair a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee in response to Storm Christoph.
Some communities have already seen major incidents declared due to flooding, with Greater Manchester and South Yorkshire badly hit.
The storm is bringing ‘significant’ rainfall, with amber and yellow warnings in place and snow predicted in northern areas.
More than 120mm of rain has already fallen in parts of the country, with 123.4mm at Honister Pass in Cumbria in the 24 hours up to 6am today.
Almost the whole of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland are subject to yellow weather warnings for rain until midday on Thursday, with a more serious amber warning stretching from the East Midlands to the Lake District.
The amber alert warns of the risk of flooding and deep floodwaters which could pose a risk to life, and there are further yellow warnings for snow and ice in Scotland.
Met Office forecaster Grahame Madge described Christoph as ‘quite a slow-moving system’ which is bringing ‘a variety of weather’ to the UK.
The meteorologist said: ‘While rain remains the main hazard in the south, further north we’ve got snow and ice remaining a risk.
‘The system will work its way through, we are expecting significant totals of rainfall and when you combine that with snowmelt it can lead to localised flooding across the affected regions.’
Across England there are 50 flood warnings issued, with 175 less severe flood alerts.
South Yorkshire declared a major incident on Monday evening in anticipation of flooding, and Greater Manchester Police followed suit on Tuesday.
The force said people should leave flooded homes if instructed, despite the stay-at-home messaging of the pandemic.
‘Over higher ground to begin with but increasingly those events will be to lower levels as well and that could lead to some accumulations in Scotland, northern England and parts of Northern Ireland.’
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