No end in sight for winter storms as more bands of heavy rain sweep in

February 23, 2020 12:01:46 AM

Flood-hit communities are bracing themselves as further bands of torrential rain began sweeping across Britain on Sunday with no end  in sight to the winter storms.

A yellow weather warning has been issued for heavy rain on Sunday morning in an already soaked South Wales as yet another wave of torrential rain moved over the country from the south-west.

Forecasters said this will give way to more showery weather as the day progresses but the storm will sweep in again on Sunday night, bringing rain and high winds to many areas and snow to parts of Scotland and northern England on Monday.

Winter weather Feb 22nd 2020
Severe flooding warnings in Herefordshire have been downgraded (Jacob King/PA)

While the extreme weather should settle down over Tuesday and Wednesday, the Met Office said further heavy rain is expected later in the week.

The bleak outlook follows more than a fortnight of downpours and flooding that started with Storm Ciara, continued with Storm Dennis and then kept going with the storms over the weekend, which – contrary to some reports – have not been named by the Met Office.

The number of flood warnings in force in England dropped slightly on Saturday  afternoon as the rain relented in many areas – albeit with gale-force winds continuing in the north.

On Saturday night, five flood warnings remained in force across Wales – mainly on the River Severn and River Dee – with 23 flood alerts.

In England, the two severe flood warnings on the River Lugg, in Herefordshire, were downgraded but 74 flood warnings and 170 flood alerts remained in place.

The Met Office said the overnight band of rain would give way to more showery weather during Sunday.

But it warned the weather system was due to pivot back on Sunday night, bringing widespread rain and wind for many parts, with snow over central and southern Scotland and the hills of the north Pennines bringing a grim start to Monday.

A yellow weather warning for heavy rain has been issued for 3am to 3pm on Monday for the north of England.

There is also a yellow warning for snow covering much of central and southern Scotland on Monday.

Forecasters said snow could also fall on higher ground in northernmost areas of England.

Dan Suri, chief forecaster at the Met Office, said: “A relatively deep area of low-pressure system on Monday provides a continuation of the extremely unsettled period the UK has endured.

“Despite reports to the contrary, this system hasn’t been named, and there is no plan to do so currently, despite some speculation on social media.

“With further rain in the forecast over the coming days, additional rainfall could create further challenges as river catchments are more likely to respond to extra rainfall more quickly.

“Flooding, especially in areas already heavily affected, remains a possibility.”

Winter weather Feb 17th 2020
There is no sign of the rain stopping (Danny Lawson/PA)

Scott Squires, duty tactical manager for Natural Resources Wales, said: “As the floodwaters recede and communities start to get back on their feet, we’ll continue to support local authorities and emergency service in these affected areas.

“Over the coming days our teams will be checking for any signs of damage to our flood defences, and removing blockages and debris which has built up in culverts and drainage grids etc.”

There was further flooding on Friday night and Saturday morning on the southern edge of the Yorkshire Dales.

The village of Horton-in-Ribblesdale was cut off by rising water and there were road closures and further flooding along the Otley-Ilkley-Skipton corridor, north of Bradford.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said they had to rescue four people from a stranded car in Skipton and two horses stuck in floodwater nearby.

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