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Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Winter floods in UK 2013-14

24 December 2013

Strong winds and heavy rain has caused much disruption for home-owners and travellers trying to get home for the Christmas break. Rivers, already swollen have been unable to cope in many areas, flooding roads, railway lines, homes and businesses.

CAUSE OF THE DISRUPTION

VIDEO explanation: Why so stormy?

Source - BBC Weather (24 Dec 2013)
For guidance on how to read synoptic charts like this one above - click here


The Met Office at Boscombe Down, Salisbury Plain, recorded 66.7 mm of rain in the 24 hours from 9 am on the 23 December to 9 am on the 24 December. This is new all time daily record (provisional) in any month for the station – since records began in January 1931.

A Low pressure record breaker:
In Stornoway, in NW Scotland. a pressure reading of 936.4mb was recorded at 12:30 pm on 24th December 2013. This is the lowest recorded anywhere in the UK since December 1886!

Depression - a low pressure weather system
Explainer from the Met Office here:



An additional simplified explanation of the differences between high and low pressure can be found here


EFFECT ON DIFFERENT GROUPS OF PEOPLE AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Strong winds, floods and fallen trees have been causing chaos for travellers trying to get away for Christmas.

Many major roads were flooded or blocked by fallen trees, with Kent, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex and Cornwall among the affected counties.

In Dorset30 people trapped in cars by flood water were rescued by fire crews.

In Devon and Cornwallseveral properties were flooded, while some homes are without power

In Newton Abbot, Devon, a man died after jumping into the River Lemon to rescue his dog. 

More than 6,000 homes without power in East Anglia, hundreds with no power in Somerset, and 50,000 homes in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight were cut off.



A man was taken to  hospital after being trapped under a fallen tree in St Martin, in Jersey.

The London Fire Brigade says it received five times the usual number of emergency 999 calls - 853 in total - on Monday night.

The severe weather caused disruption at some airports. At Gatwick, a power cut at the north terminal left several thousand passengers stranded, with delays and 26 flights cancelled.



Network Rail reported that the damage caused by the severe weather was "even more extensive" than that inflicted by St Jude's storm in October.

As of Tuesday evening, five people had died as a result of poor conditions on the roads or after entering fast-flowing rivers. 

The Environment Agency had almost 370 flood warnings and alerts in force on 24 December.

Source - Environment Agency


Fire crews rescued one adult and three children from a car stuck in floodwater on the A303 in Podimore, near Yeovil, Somerset. Two fire appliances and the rescue tender as well as a specialist rescue team led them to safety using an inflatable powered boat and dry suits. 

Train passengers in Taunton, Somerset, were stranded all night on board their train after the track they were travelling on flooded.

Closer to home: Police in Wiltshire said nine roads had been closed due to flooding, including the A365 near Shurnhold, Melksham, where a number of vehicles were stuck.

Wiltshire Fire and Rescue said about 12 properties, including shops in the Bath Road area of Bradford-on-Avon, had been affected by flooding and they had closed the town centre bridge - the main route through the town.

Bradford on Avon - 24 December 2013

Chippenham - via Twitter
(unable to find original photo for acknowledgement)

View of the River Avon - Chippenham via @southers81 on Twitter

View across fields near Monkton Park - Chippenham via @adamczuk on Twitter



25 December 2013

About 50,000 homes in southern and eastern England were without power following the huge storms which hit the UK on Monday and Tuesday.

The River Mole in Surrey burst its banks in several areas and an Environment Agency severe flood warning - which means a danger to life - was issued for Leatherhead.




Sainsburys in Tonbridge - Kent

The scene in Guildford as the River Wey flooded

Flooding on the River Medway in Kent





26 December 2013

The Environment Agency and the Met Office have warned of further significant rainfall and flooding in parts of southern England with heavy rain and high winds forecast across the UK on Thursday evening and into Friday morning.

Source - Met Office


Many rivers are still swollen after the storms and ground saturated which led to power cuts and travel delays causing concern that any additional rain will lead to more significant flooding. 

About 1,000 homes in south-east and south-west England have been flooded.

Some 13,000 properties still have no power and engineers say some may not be reconnected until the end of the week.

The Met Office said widespread gales were likely to develop late during Thursday night or in the early hours of Friday morning bringing gusts of more than 50 mph inland and of 70 mph to 80 mph to some coastal areas and high ground.

Pressure chart for 26 December 2013
Source - BBC Weather



Pressure chart for 27 December 2013
Source - BBC Weather



On Thursday morning, the Environment Agency had 83 flood warnings in place,  these were in the south-east (37), south-west (16), and the Midlands (18).

Source - The Environment Agency (26 December 2013)
26 January 2014

Although the floods receded in many areas of the south-west, for some the impacts continued. Read more about the floods on the Somerset levels which continued into 2014 here


Sources:
BBC News; BBC Weather; Daily Mail; Wiltshire Times; Twitter; The Environment Agency; Channel 4 News; AJEnglish; ITV News; Sky News; The Guardian; The Met Office; theweatheroutlook



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