Today’s update is from the Met Office, the warnings are for East Cumbria as can be seen on the map below:
With low pressure intent on sitting close to the UK over the next few days the risk of another heavy rainfall event and associated flooding remains ever-present.
We are indeed now starting to see signs of another potential event brewing for Friday and Saturday. Let me summarise the current state of play.
An ongoing risk of localised heavy downpours, especially Lancs/Cumbria. Very hard to pinpoint which areas are more at risk than others at this stage. Flood Guidance Statement (FGS, attached above) is Yellow for surface water flood risk across Lancashire and Cumbria.
No Met Office severe weather warning in force at present.
An area of prolonged and at times heavy rain rain is forecast to extend across the region from an east or southeasterly direction. Given recent events and the state of the ground the Met Office, in discussions with the Flood Forecasting Centre, have raised an Amber Alert for rain, attached above, valid throughout Friday. On current estimates the rain is unlikely to reach our region until mid-to late morning on Friday but, once in, could persist for some hours. Today’s FGS has also gone amber for Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Lancashire for both Friday and for Saturday, given the potential for impacts to be continued to be felt into the weekend. The maps on page 1 of the FGS indeed look rather ominous but scroll down to page 2 to see the ‘Specific Areas of Concern’ map and you’ll see that the Amber (medium) flood risk is confined to the eastern halves of both Lancashire and Greater Manchester, along with the extreme east of Cheshire, rather than the whole of each county/LRF. Indeed it is in these Pennine areas that the highest rainfall totals are likely to be realised with rather lower accumulations as you head westwards towards the coast.
The FGS contains a detailed description of the Flood Risk through Friday and Saturday from both rivers and surface water excess. Note that the subsequent timing and progression of the rain area later on Friday and into Saturday remains somewhat uncertain but, with hope, it will continue on its way into Scotland rather than becoming anchored across northern England.
As the situation evolves the Environment Agency will convene Flood Advisory Service teleconferences as appropriate and issue any river and coastal Flood Warnings when necessary.
That just about brings you up to date for the time being. A full update will be issued later tomorrow morning (once I have the latest FGS and Met Office warning updates to hand).
Alan Goodman; Met Office Advisor (Civil Contingencies)