The Environment Agency has issued 83 flood warnings, covering much of the UK, as a man dies near Bath after becoming trapped in his car.
The Met Office has said that the bad weather looks set to continue for “the next few days”, so people are advised to be aware of the possible threat of flooding over the coming weekend.
“We strongly urge people to sign up to flood warnings on the Environment Agency website, keep a close eye on local weather forecasts and be prepared for flooding”, said John Curtin, head of incident management at the Environment Agency.
“We also ask that people stay safe, by staying away swollen rivers and not attempting to drive through floodwater.
“Environment Agency teams have been mobilised across the country to check on flood defences, clear river blockages and monitor river levels.
“These teams work around the clock to reduce the risk of flooding, and will be out in force over the coming days.”
He added that flood defences put in place by the Environment Agency had already protected some 2,000 properties since Wednesday alone.
Meanwhile Paul Gundersen, deputy chief forecaster at the Met Office, said, “There has been some torrential rain and squally winds on Thursday as a cold front moved across the UK, but another deep depression developing off Iberia will head towards us for the weekend.
“This is expected to bring more heavy rain and strong to gale force winds to many parts of the country. We urge everyone to keep up to date with forecasts and warnings and be prepared for what the weather will bring.”
A report conducted by the Met Office and five other organisations at the request of the Department of Energy and Climate Change looked into the potential impact that an increased global temperature would have on crops, water and weather.
“Rainfall extremes are generally projected to increase [in this warmer scenario, particularly during winter, with changes during summer are more uncertain”, the report reads.
Flooding from rivers bursting their banks is also set to increase.
“Several European-scale and national-scale assessments suggest an increase in flood risk with climate change in the UK”, it adds.
If you want to see whether your property or business is at risk of flooding, you can look at the interactive maps (enter your postcode in the right hand column) on the Environment Agency’s website, and there is more information at the National Flood Forum and the Met Office’s ‘Get ready for winter’ site.