The rain across Lancashire and Cumbria has now diminished to little more than a few patches here and there and with the situation on the ground improving so the afternoon edition of the Flood Guidance Statement was able to show a reduced flood risk from amber to yellow with a low likelihood of significant impacts still applying to both counties. In tandem with this the Met Office amber warning was cancelled just after 1500, leaving the region under a single yellow warning, the graphical bits of which are displayed below. As you can see it’s now only N/NE Lancashire and Cumbria still at risk from any significant impacts over the next 12 hours. The upcoming feature of concern is the rain band associated with the transition to clearer conditions, set to move in between approx 2100 and 2300 this evening. There’ll be some heavy rain on this, especially over Cumbria, but it should be a relatively short-lived affair and even allowing for a few showers in the early hours of Monday, additional accumulations of rain will be modest in comparison with what fell earlier today and overnight. The power of the Cumbrian mountains to generate rain when fed the right air supply never ceases to impress and the EA gauge at Seathwaite recorded 178mm in the 12 hours to 0845 this morning. However, one didn’t have to travel very far out from the central fell area of the Lake District to see the totals tail off rapidly.
As for tomorrow night’s weather system – still some uncertainty as to the northern edge of the associated rain area but hopefully it will stay wholly to the south of Cumbria and N Lancs. The next system, following quick on its heels, will likely take a more northern track and further rain looks a surer bet during Tuesday.
In the meantime have a good rest of Sunday,
Alan Goodman; Met Office Advisor (Civil Contingencies)
LATEST WEATHER SEQUENCE:
The rain, already into parts of Lancashire and Cumbria, will be generally light at first this afternoon, with the more serious rain arriving through the course of this afternoon. Then from later this afternoon through this evening a period of fairly persistent and locally heavy rain is expected for much of the region except perhaps in the south where Cheshire, especially the south of the county, may escape much of the heavier rainfall. During this evening the persistent, heavy rain will tend to become more focussed across Cumbria and the Lancashire Pennines but even further south further locally heavy outbreaks of rain may continue for a time overnight, especially across the western Pennine upslopes. Through Sunday we’ll see further rain at times across the Northwest but more especially over Cumbria and the Lancashire/Greater Manchester Pennines where some of the rain will again be heavy, albeit waxing and waning in area/extent. During Sunday evening the more persistent rain should finally depart as somewhat clearer conditions arrive from the west, though with the risk of showers through the early hours of Monday, some of which could themselves be quite sharp.
SEVERE WEATHER WARNING STATUS/FLOOD RISK:
This morning’s Flood Guidance Statement now has two area As within the Northwest where the flood risk rating is a medium likelihood of severe impacts, firstly the area of S/W/Central Cumbria which we became aware of yesterday afternoon but now in addition we have an area of E/NE Lancashire also at medium likelihood of severe impacts. The rest of the Northwest (bar south Cheshire) remains on yellow (low likelihood of significant impacts). The flood risk comprises a combination of river and surface water flooding. The amber flood risk status runs today and tomorrow with all areas reverting to yellow for Monday and Tuesday, emphasising the ongoing nature of the flood risk. The current Met Office yellow and amber severe weather warnings have just been updated and are on the Met Office website.
Much of Monday daytime should be dry but the next batch of rain is likely to arrive in the evening with further rain possible during Tuesday and Wednesday. However, confidence in the exact track of these subsequent weather systems, together with the extent and amount of rain they may generate, is fairly low at present and hence their effect on the flood risk is difficult to quantify at present. What I can say is that these systems should be moving through reasonably quickly. In terms of amount of rain this weekend’s event will be by some way the biggest.
Please share this information to as many people as possible. The Environment Agency this morning will begin shutting the flood gates. The car park at the HSBC bank will be partially closed this morning but may end up being fully closed in preparation. The prediction is for up to 200mm of rain. Light rain will begin at lunch time today becoming heavier tonight and tomorrow, there may be some respite on Monday but it will rain again Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The flood defences will be tested!! The prediction is that they will hold. Please be vigilant …watch for surface water building, keep drains clear of debris, don’t be caught out by the smaller water courses. Stay safe and look after each other. I will update as I get more information.