The latest rainfall event is in the process of moving on out of the way, having delivered 52mm of rain in 12 hours at Shap and no doubt totals in excess of that at the more central Cumbrian gauges. The current Yellow Warning for rain covering Cumbria and north Lancashire expires at 1400 and that hopefully points the way to what could be a warnings-free first week of 2013. After a bright, breezy but in places rather showery day tomorrow, a further pulse of (non-disruptive) rain will move eastwards across the region on Wednesday, this heralding a surge of very mild air off the Atlantic that, together with rising pressure from the south, should ensure a quiet, uneventful few days across the Northwest (and indeed the UK in general), allowing river levels to drop back and the ground to recover somewhat after the repetitive rains of the last few weeks.
The only conceivable hazard as we head towards next weekend will be patchy fog as the air finally falls quiet and the extensive cloud cover becomes less reliable. How long this quieter regime will hold for is uncertain, but for however long, for most if not all, it will come as a very welcome change as the new month gets underway.
Just a brief update on the situation as we approach the New Year. Last night’s rain saw only very modest totals but the main thrust of the current ‘event’ will be reserved for tonight and tomorrow with persistent and occasionally heavy rain setting in across Cumbria probably this side of midnight then spreading to other parts of the Northwest and continuing throughout the rest of the night and tomorrow morning before a final clearance arrives from the west during tomorrow afternoon. A Yellow Warning (medium likelihood of low impacts) is in force across Cumbria and north Lancashire for this event although the start time has been pushed back to midnight tonight in view of the rain today being relatively light and patchy in nature and thus non-disruptive. Today’s Flood Guidance Statement (FGS) has both counties on Yellow (low flood risk) tomorrow for both river and surface water-based impacts.
Following fairly soon after the clearance tomorrow afternoon will be showers, these perhaps becoming organised into bands. Shower-activity will continue across much of the region throughout Saturday evening and overnight and with somewhat colder air returning so showers could turn wintry down to fairly low levels with soft hail at any level and the chance of some wet snow perhaps as low as 200m although any accumulations are more likely above 300-400m (excepting any temporary cover of soft hail from any heavier showers which could be observed down to sea level). During Sunday the showers will ease away, only for the next spell of rain and strong winds to move in during Sunday evening and into Monday. An updated Yellow Alert (low likelihood of medium impacts) is in force for this event, covering much of the region except east Cheshire and Greater Manchester, and valid from 1800 on Sunday to 1200 Monday. Today’s FGS has both Cumbria and Lancashire at low flood risk from this system on Monday. As well as the additional rainfall the winds associated with this system could become very strong for a short time on Monday – more on this in and any potential impacts in subsequent updates. Tuesday (New Years Day) should see brighter (but still breezier) conditions returning with a mixture of bright/sunny intervals and scattered showers – a better day overall.
A major development in the Atlantic for Friday and Saturday will result in a period of wet and windy weather affecting Cumbria and Lancashire but especially the former. The main thrust of rain looks like occurring early on Friday and then again later on Friday and overnight. The heaviest rain will be very much tied to the higher ground with the Cumbrian Fells catching the largest totals. Although the amounts involved will not be all that high by Cumbrian standards, given the recent wet weather a Yellow Alert has been issued for both Cumbria and the far north of Lancashire, valid from 1800 Friday to 0900 Saturday.
A Yellow Alert (Low likelihood of medium level impacts) remains in force for Cumbria and north Lancashire from 1800 tomorrow until 0900 Saturday. Rainfall from weather fronts linked to a very deep Atlantic low will affect the area tomorrow and overnight before clearing through early on Saturday morning.
The Flood Guidance Statement is Yellow (low flood risk) for both Cumbria and Lancashire tomorrow and on Saturday with minor impacts possible from both river overspill and/or surface water excess.
The unsettled pattern will continue through the weekend into early next week and a fresh bout of wet and windy weather is expected to affect both counties later on Sunday and early Monday. A new Yellow Alert has recently been issued for this event (low likelihood of medium level impacts) and covers all of Cumbria and the western half of Lancashire, valid from 1800 Sunday to 1200 Monday. The Flood Guidance Statement does not yet make reference to this event but is likely to include it from tomorrow.
After that has gone through there are hints (and only hints at this stage) of something a little drier as the opening days of 2013 unfold. There is certainly no sign of any cold weather returning for the foreseeable future so any hazards in the coming week will be very much water-related,