Met Office confirms England is suffering wettest period for 250 years

by ClickGreen staff. Published Thu 06 Feb 2014 14:04
Rainfall and winds break UK records
Rainfall and winds break UK records

Met Office researchers have confirmed England and Wales are suffering from one of the wettest winter periods since rainfall records began in 1766.

The National Climate Information Centre study found the last time the country was this drenched Bonnie Prince Charlie was claiming the British throne and Mozart was on tour.

And forecasters are warning of more days of storms and torrential rain ahead.

The list of record-breaking extreme weather events is growing by the week, and now includes:

* The wettest December and January in the UK

* The windiest December for the UK in records back to 1969, based on the occurrence of winds in excess 60 kts (69mph)

* Looking at the England and Wales Precipitation series, which dates back to 1766, it has been the wettest December to January since 1876/1877 and the 2nd wettest overall in the series

* There have been very few dry days in the south of England area since 12 December and regional statistics suggest that this is one of, if not the most, exceptional periods of winter rainfall in at least 248 years.

And there is no respite in sight from the storm clouds as Met Office forecasters are warning that heavy rain and gale force winds will continue to affect the UK as we head into the weekend, bringing the possibility of further disruption.

Another band of heavy rain is due to sweep across southern Britain tonight and into Friday.

A separate area of low pressure is then expected to bring more rain and very strong winds on Saturday.

The Met Office has issued several Severe Weather Warnings for the next few days due to the possibility of flooding and damaging winds. The public are advised to stay up to date with these warnings and the latest details from our forecast during this time of particularly unsettled weather.

Andy Page, Met Office Chief Meteorologist, said: "The unsettled weather will continue over the coming days with heavy rain across the southern half of Britain on Thursday evening into Friday, and that will be quickly followed by another storm moving in early on Saturday.

"This will bring the risk of flooding and damaging winds bringing down trees to cause disruption to travel and power networks."

The stormy conditions will also continue to bring the additional risk of large and potentially hazardous waves in coastal areas.

Will Stephens, RNLI Coastal Safety Staff Officer, said: "With more stormy weather forecast, we're asking people to take extra care if they're going down to the coast. Rough seas and extreme weather might look exciting, but getting too close can be risky. So respect the water and, in particular, avoid exposed places where big waves could sweep you off your feet."

John Curtin, Head of Incident Management at the Environment Agency, said: "Following the wettest January on record for England successive bands of heavy rain are forecast, lasting into the weekend.

"With further river and coastal flooding expected this week we have teams working around the clock to protect homes and communities, and over 122,600 properties have been protected over the past three days.

"We urge people to stay safe and not to walk or drive through flood water which can be dangerous.

"In the face of this severe weather we would also remind people that they can sign up to receive free flood warnings, check their flood risk and keep up to date with the latest situation on the Environment Agency website and on social media using #floodaware."

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