UK Weather: Flood warnings in place but forecasters predict dry start to new year

27 December 2019, 05:58

Dozens of flood warnings remain in place
Dozens of flood warnings remain in place. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Flood warnings remain in place across the UK with authorities warning of rising groundwater levels while forecasters predict a dry end to 2019.

Boxing Day shopping was hit by wet and windy conditions with footfall down by 10.6 per cent for the same period in 2018.

There are 34 flood warnings in place, and a further 110 alerts as the Environment Agency says southern England and north Lincolnshire are most at-risk following prolonged spells of rain.

Flood duty manager Clare Dinnis said even though the weather was getting better the danger was now from groundwater.

She said: "While the weather outlook is improving, groundwater levels continue to rise after recent rainfall meaning that there is a continued risk of groundwater flooding in parts of southern England over the next few days," Ms Dinnis said.

"We continue to monitor rainfall and river levels closely and to operate our flood defences, reducing the risk of flooding to thousands of homes and businesses and helping to keep people safe.

"Our pumps also remain in place in Somerset where our focus is on reducing levels of water on Currymoor."

But there is good news, forecasters have said a period of high pressure was expected to sweep the UK over the weekend, bringing a dry end to the year for many.

Met Office forecaster Simon Partridge said the weather on Friday will see a split, with Scotland and Northern Ireland facing wet and windy weather, with some gale force winds possible, and calmer conditions in England and Wales.

Grey clouds will cover much of England and Wales, with drizzle likely on hills, but temperatures will be milder than recently, with a high of 13C in the South West.

Saturday's weather was expected to be similarly split, with drier, brighter spells for England and Wales, and rain for western Scotland.

Mr Partridge said: "After that we will generally see high pressure building at the end of the year for much of the UK, and a spell of dry weather, with temperatures near or above average."