UK weather: Snow and more 'significant flooding' forecast

21 February 2020, 17:07

Already flood hit areas are bracing for more weather misery
Already flood hit areas are bracing for more weather misery. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Northern England is braced for potentially more "significant flooding" with flood-hit regions set to see further downpours.

More rain in northern England could lead to further flooding in already sensitive areas, the Met Office has said.

There could also be snow in parts of the UK towards the end of the weekend, with forecasters predicting snowfall in the Scottish Highlands which could possibly drift south into areas of northern England.

The Environment Agency has warned of worsening conditions with the Pennines and parts of North Yorkshire identified as areas most at risk.

The body also said ongoing river flooding remains "probable" for the English-Welsh border from Friday through to next week due to "probable" worries the lower River Severn could burst its banks.

There are currently five danger-to-life flood warnings in place in the Midlands, with two covering Hampton Bishop, Herefordshire, due to the nearby rivers of Lugg and Wye.

Three of the warnings cover the Severn in Upton upon Severn and Uckinghall in Worcestershire.

Caroline Douglass, the Environment Agency's director of incident management, noted that for some areas this would be a third consecutive weekend of wet weather, following two named storms over the last two weekends.

She said: "This is the third weekend we have seen exceptional river levels and stormy weather, and with the effects of climate change, we need to prepare for more frequent periods of extreme weather like this.

"People need to be aware of their flood risk, sign up to flood warnings, make a flood plan and not to drive or walk through flood water."

Vehicles were caught in flood water in the Worcestershire areas
Vehicles were caught in flood water in the Worcestershire areas. Picture: PA

The more extreme warnings remained near the English-Welsh border, around the rivers Severn, Wye, and Lugg, where many people have already experienced flooding.

The Met Office has issued weather warnings for rain for central and south-western Scotland all day Friday, and parts of Yorkshire for Friday morning.

While Wales will not be hit with more deluges of rain on Friday, meteorologist Craig Snell said: "There are no signs of anything majorly dry coming through which is what people need in the flood-hit areas."

Mr Snell continued: "From the word go on Friday we'll be having rain into parts of Scotland, Northern Ireland and northwest England and it's really going to set in there throughout the day.

"The other talking point for Friday will be the strength of the wind, it's going to be quite gusty in the north."

Honister Pass in Cumbria, one of the wettest areas of the UK annually, recorded 185mm of rain in 36 hours on Thursday while 72 mm was recorded in Shap, Cumbria.

Capel Curig in Snowdonia, north Wales, recorded 86mm of rain in 36 hours after setting Wednesday's record for rain with 80mm in a single day.

Northern parts of England could see winds up to 65 mph on Friday, which could cause transport delays and adverse driving conditions.

The Met Office has said Yorkshire is one of the most sensitive areas to rain at the moment, with only small amounts of rain potentially causing further flooding.

Mr Snell said: "Rainfall amounts tomorrow are not exactly too high but the warning is because the ground is so wet."

The northern county is expected to see 20-30mm of rain falling, which could increase to 60-80mm in some areas.

"Given the recent wet conditions, even that amount of rainfall may cause some further flooding to occur," Mr Snell added.

The weekend is expected to bring more wet weather, with the possibility of sleet and snow on high ground in Scotland.

Mr Snell said: "Saturday is going to be a day of sunshine and gusty showers, the showers wintry across the north, chiefly across the high ground and we could see a bit of wintriness at lower levels but nothing amounting to too much at the moment."

The forecaster added the Met Office are monitoring an area of low pressure approaching the UK which could bring another spell of strong winds to Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England.

He said: "Combined with the wind we would see the risk of further heavy rainfall and also potentially some snow as well for Scotland."

Hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes in the worst-affected areas following days of flooding in the wake of Storm Dennis.

A fundraiser launched by Good Omens actor Michael Sheen on Wednesday evening has since doubled its initial target of collecting £10,000 for Welsh people affected by Storm Dennis.