Weather Update

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We will start the weekend in a colder, westerly airflow with some wintry showers, mainly for Cumbria but perhaps a few reaching further south into Lancashire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester. Slight accumulations of snow may result during Saturday, more especially over the higher ground of Cumbria. Yesterday’s yellow alert for snow/ice over Cumbria is due to be updated shortly. In the meantime I’m attaching yesterday’s version.
During Sunday the mood will reverse as milder air brings further rain across all parts, although before the colder air gets displaced there could be a little sleet or snow for a time, more especially across the higher ground of the Pennines and Cumbria.
The Atlantic low pressure system bringing the rain and temporary return to milder conditions later on Sunday will likely prove to be another intense affair as it passes to the north of the UK later on Sunday and into Monday. Another strong wind episode looks on the cards and with the weekend approaching we have this morning issued an early yellow alert for winds (very low likelihood of medium level impacts) across a large swathe of the UK including all of Northwest England for the whole of Monday. This alert will be refined on a day-by-day basis as the event draws nearer. Once the system gets well clear of our shores it’s a return to colder conditions later on Monday and into Tuesday with wintry showers and overnight frost.
Enough ? For sure.
All the various severe weather warnings/alerts are attached above for your convenience. For details of the storm-naming system please refer to

UK Storm Centre
Find out the latest information about storms in the UK as we name them as part of our Name our Storms project.

Drop-in sessions

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The Environment Agency, local councils and partners are inviting residents to have their say on flooding at a series of community drop-in sessions and meetings across Cumbria.

The first drop-in sessions, detailed below, will be held in a mobile trailer with further meetings to scheduled soon to coincide with parish council meetings, dates to be confirmed:
Cockermouth: Town centre 11am to 2pm and Gote Rd 3pm to 6pm on 28 January 2016.

The drop-in sessions provide an opportunity for local people to inform flood risk management in their community by providing information on their experiences. This will help identify the extent and cause of local flooding and inform recovery work. It’s also an opportunity to ask questions, raise concerns and access information about funding and support.
Dan Bond, Environment Agency Manager, said: “You can’t underestimate the devastating impacts of flooding to people’s lives and the key to recovering quickly, and increasing our flood resilience in the long term, is to listen to the people who experienced it first hand and learn from their experiences.
“We’ve been visiting affected communities since the flooding began in early December, and these drop-in sessions are the start of a more coordinated approach to involving local people in the development of local flood risk management plans.
“We would encourage anyone affected by flooding to come along and talk to us. We will have technical experts from the Environment Agency and County Council available to chat to, with support from a number of agencies that can provide advice and support.”

A History to Flooding – The River Derwent



Only short periods of gauged record, generally less than 30 years, are available to assess the flood discharge that might be expected with a return period of 100 years. There is a requirement therefore for extrapolation of a flood frequency curve well beyond the limits of the record duration. However there is no a priori basis for judging which is the best flood frequency distribution or fitting method to use. In most instances but especially when there are outliers in the observed data set, extrapolation using different distributions can lead to widely different estimates. There is no means of judging from the data which of these estimated discharges (and the associated levels on the flood plain) is most likely to be correct and the usual solution is take a mean discharge from a range of different distributions and fitting methods.

Some confirmation to the slope and shape of the flood frequency distribution is provided by making comparisons of flood frequency at several stations within and on adjacent catchments, thus effectively adding to the number of station years of record. However, there is a degree of dependence between the floods experienced on adjacent catchments and, even when considered regionally, the flood record sample may not give a good indication of the distribution of the flood population and in particular for long return periods.

Examination of historical information provides an alternative means of assessing high return period flood discharges and levels. It has the disadvantage that the information is rarely as precise as for the gauged record especially in the assessment of discharge from a reported level. Nevertheless, there are instances where the control at a point on a river has remained with little change over a period of centuries e.g. at a bridge crossing or a mill weir. Some natural sections have also changed little. At these points it may be possible to convert levels to discharge and to combine with the gauged record, as for example was done for the River Wear (Archer, 1987) and for the River Tyne (Archer, 1993).

The main outcome of this review is a description of the extent of flooding during the major floods that have occurred over the period from the mid seventeenth century. This is presented as a flood chronicle with a summary description of each event. Continue reading “A History to Flooding – The River Derwent”