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New year to be welcomed by heavy rainfall and strong gales in UK



There will be seemingly no let-up in the bad weather conditions in the early part of the new year, with forecasters warning of heavy downpours across most parts of the UK on New Year’s Eve.

The warnings will spark concern for many across the south of England after flooding over the festive period left the ground saturated, meaning that even a small amount of rain could provide major problems.

Although forecasters say Scotland will remain relatively dry, seven people had to be evacuated by a Royal Navy helicopter from their homes on Monday evening when floods forced residents to flee the area.

Many were left without power for nearly five days over the Christmas period, leading to anger amongst residents that the grid operator, UK Power Network, were unable to cope with the extreme weather.

Many were also angry that they were given very little warning of the extreme weather, and residents in Yalding in Kent hit out at prime minister David Cameron when he visited the village shortly after it was devastated by floods.

Research conducted by the Met Office at the beginning of 2013 found that extreme rainfall is becoming increasingly more common in the UK. 2012 was the second wettest year since records began more than 100 years ago.

Speaking back in January, Julia Slingo, who has recently been made a dame for her services to climate research, said, “We have always seen a great deal of variability in UK extreme rainfall because our weather patterns are constantly changing, but this analysis suggests we are seeing a shift in our rainfall behaviour.

“There’s evidence to say we are getting slightly more rain in total, but more importantly it may be falling in more intense bursts – which can increase the risk of flooding.”

Further reading:

Extreme rainfall is increasing in UK

Further storms predicted into new year as UK clean-up operation continues

Power companies to triple compensation payouts after storms

Storms return to bring flooding and power cuts to the UK

Sustainability leaders recognised in New Year’s honours list 2014


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