Saturday, 28 Nov 2020

Met Office weather warnings UPDATED: Danger to life as six inches of rain to drench UK

Met Office yellow weather warnings for rain are in place across Britain as torrential rain wreaks havoc. The Met Office cautions of periods of heavy rain which are expected to develop across Wales and northwest England during Thursday and Friday.

The Met Office warns: “Accumulations of 1.1 to 1.5 inches (30 to 40mm) can be expected widely, whilst areas of higher ground exposed to strong southwesterly winds are likely to see 1.9 to 3.1 inches (50 to 80mm).

“The heaviest rainfall is expected to be across the hills and mountains of northwest Wales and Cumbria where four to six inches (100 to 150mm) of rainfall is possible by the end of Friday.”

The warnings are in place on Thursday from 12pm, remaining until Friday at 11.59pm.

Today’s update was due to the impact matrix – a system used by the Met Office to determine the potential impacts a weather system will have – being upgraded to medium.

Read More: BBC Weather: Carol Kirkwood warns of 10-metre waves from ex-hurricane 

Areas affected by the weather warning are North West England, Wales and Yorkshire and Humber.

The warning states these areas could see:

  • Homes and businesses flooded, causing damage to some buildings
  • Fast flowing or deep floodwater is possible, causing a danger to life
  • Delays or cancellations to train and bus services are possible
  • Spray and flooding could lead to difficult driving conditions and some road closures
  • Some communities may be cut off by flooded roads
  • Possible power cuts and loss of other services to some homes and businesses

The unsettled weather will continue through to the end of October and is due to the remnants of Hurricane Epsilon tracking across the UK.

Chief Meteorologist Andy Page said: “Until the end of October we are looking at an unsettled spell of typical autumnal weather which will dominate the forecast. Every year we expect the remnants of decaying tropical hurricanes to disrupt conditions when they enter the North Atlantic.

“The remnants of former Hurricane Epsilon have been subsumed into another deep area of low pressure to the south-west of Iceland, and although the low centre is a long way from our shores and won’t cause disruption, the trailing weather fronts associated with this system will bring wind and rain to the UK, along with a potentially heavy swell.

“However, it is rain rather than wind that will dominate our attention later in the week with a so-called ‘warm conveyor’ set up to bring a flow of very moist and warm air to the UK from further south in the Atlantic, triggering heavy rainfall for high ground in the west of the UK.

“We have issued a Yellow warning covering parts of Wales and North-west England for Thursday and Friday as additional rainfall in these areas may lead to impacts, including flooding.”

This comes as Cornwall Council has issued a swell warning from Wednesday, cautioning of dangerous waves and currents.

Cornwall Council tweeted today: “Swell Warning, Sea conditions are set to be extremely dangerous from Wednesday onwards, with huge waves, strong rip currents and increased tidal surges forecast.

“The @RNLI is urging people to only visit Cornwall’s lifeguarded beaches and to listen to their advice.”

Steve Instance, RNLI Water Safety Lead for the South West said: “Experts have been watching weather systems out in the Atlantic for the last few weeks to calculate the impact on swell conditions hitting Europe and the UK.

“Forecasts at the moment are predicting a huge swell to arrive on Wednesday and into Thursday combined with strong winds.

“Sea conditions are set to be extremely dangerous and its likely most beaches will be red flagged with huge waves, strong rip currents and increased tidal surges.

“If you are tempted to enter the water, please go to one of the 27 lifeguarded beaches and listen to their advice, if there are no flags then there are no lifeguards. Do not enter the water if the red flag is flying, it only takes seconds to get caught out in conditions like these.”

And further torrential rain is likely as we enter Novemeber, with the Met Office warning of the potential for the remnants of ex-hurricane Zeta to move into the North Atlantic.

The associated moisture from Zeta is shown “being entrained into the Atlantic frontal systems” which brings “the potential for further heavy rain to parts of the UK later in the weekend and into early next week.”

However, confidence at this time range is fairly low for this aspect of the forecast.

Mr Page said: “We will continue to monitor the situation, issue warnings accordingly, and work with partners to provide advice to the public.”

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