UK weather: Massive downpours to sweep the country this weekend with fears of more flash flooding after towns evacuated

UK weather: Massive downpours to sweep the country this weekend with fears of more flash flooding after towns evacuated

October 29, 2021

DOWNPOURS are set to sweep the country this weekend – with fears mounting of further flash floods after hundreds of people were evacuated.

The country faces at least three more days of half-term misery, with warnings issued for millions until 6am on Monday, November 1.

Yesterday, some Brits saw an extraordinary amount of rain in a deluge that has forced people from their homes and swept away bridges.

Southern Scotland has seen some of the worst weather.

Astonishing photos from Dumfries and Galloway show a swollen river dragging down two road bridges, while four people were rescued from their homes by emergency services.

Elsewhere, Hawick in the Scottish Borders, which lies 50 miles away, has been badly hit, with officials declaring a major incident as water levels rise.

Police led residents from their properties to places of safety amid fears there could be a tragedy.

Honister Pass in Cumbria saw well over a foot of rain fall in just hours.

Two tourists and their dog were rescued from chest-high floodwater in Southwaite Mill, Cockermouth yesterday.

And the misery that has blighted the half-term holiday will continue on for days yet.

Another weather front has swept in from the west today, bringing with it rain and high winds.

Met Office forecasters predict 3.1 inches of rain in Dartmoor – more than a week's worth.

In south-west Scotland, 1.57in will fall, while Wales will face a 2.4in wash-out.

Tomorrow, yellow weather warnings are in place in parts of Scotland, mid- and west Wales, and the south-west of England.

On Sunday, a band of rainfall will drive across the south-west and Wales shortly after midnight before pushing north-east.

All of southern England will likely be affected.


A stretch of the west between southern Scotland and mid-Wales will also be hit until Monday morning.

A slew of flood warnings are in place amid concern lives could be in danger.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency issued ten flood warnings and ten alerts today, while England has 11 alerts and 38 warnings, and Natural Resources Wales issued 26 alerts. 

Forecasters revealed today that conditions have been extreme, even factoring in the usual autumnal rain.

Met Office officials said that since 3am on Wednesday, 413mm – or 1.35 feet – of rain has fallen on parts of Cumbria.

As a comparison, parts of Essex see less than 500mm of rainfall across a whole year.

Chief meteorologist Andy Page said the downpours have been caused by a series of factors, including strong south-westerly winds, a "conveyor belt" of warm air and a slow-moving weather front.

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“The rainfall continues to present a threat of flooding and transport disruption, with difficult driving conditions and possible road closures," he said.

Aidan McGivern of the Met Office warned the rainfall is unusually severe.

"These are exceptional rainfall totals for even the wettest part of the UK, which is Cumbria on average, and for the wettest part of the year," he said.

Ben Lukey, flood duty manager at the Environment Agency, warned families on autumn breaks to take particular care on unfamiliar roads.

“We are urging residents and visitors, especially holidaymakers in the Lake District, to stay alert and check their flood risk," he said.

Mr Lukey's colleague Andy Brown said the situation in some areas may have been devastating if it weren't for flood defences.

He told BBC Radio Cumbria: "Those defences can't protect us 100 per cent of the time and many people sadly in Cumbria well know, whether you be in Keswick or Carlisle or a number of other places, there will come a point when those defences will be over-topped.

These are exceptional rainfall totals for even the wettest part of the UK and for the wettest part of the year

"I'm very grateful today that many thousands of properties avoided being flooded because of those magnificent flood defences."

And people across the nation are advised to bunker down if at all possible this week.

Meteorologist Luke Miall said: "Autumn is very much with us across the UK through this week, turning a lot more unsettled over the next few days.

"We could see a large amount of rain building up with a risk of flooding and some pretty tricky travelling conditions.

"Highs of 18C though, very, very mild for this stage of the year.

"Quite strong winds as well, so we will continue to see some quite disruptive rainfall at times."

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