Emergency breakdown

December 2013

View our older posts from The AA Special Operations Response Team (AASORT) and expert meteorologist Matthew Hugo.

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December blog posts

Monday 30 December 9am

Further Wet and Windy Weather

  • Remaining very unsettled through the New Year period with further spells of wet and windy conditions.
  • On-going risk of localised flooding given continued spells of wet or very wet weather across many areas.
  • Remaining very windy at times, especially on Monday and then also again during New Years Day

The final few days of 2013 and the start of 2014 will continue a trend that has dominated the weather throughout December; unsettled conditions will persist. Further areas of low pressure are expected to move into the UK off the Atlantic throughout the New Year period maintaining a constant risk of showers or rain across many areas of the UK.

Today

The week is has started off very unsettled. A developing situation is current taking place in which an area of low pressure is forecast to develop and move across Northern England during the afternoon period. This is forecast to bring about a spell of very windy conditions to Northern England in particular. This afternoon gusts up to 50mph to 60mph are possible, especially across coasts and hills of Lancashire and Yorkshire. Some structural damage is possible along with some travel disruption, especially across Pennine routes and all high sided vehicles should be aware of this situation. For many other areas of the UK another wet and windy spell of weather is expected as well, but with a gradual improvement during the second half of the day.

New Years Eve

Into New Years Eve and another band of moderate and heavy rain is forecast to quickly move across many areas of the UK bringing some locally squally conditions for a time. As with Monday this should clear away to the east during the afternoon period to then leave a mixture of sunshine and blustery showers through the rest of New Years Eve and into the overnight period.

New Years Day

New Years Day remains a cause for concern as yet another developing area of low pressure is forecast to move up into the UK from the south-west. This low pressure is likely to bring a renewed risk of gales and perhaps severe gales across many southern and western areas of the UK with possible gusts >50mph at the present time. Clearly this low pressure will also bring further persistent and heavy rain across a large swathe of the UK and will maintain that risk of localised flooding. Further information on this specific system will be available in the next day or so.

The opening few days of 2014 are set to remain unsettled as a west or south-westerly wind persists across many areas of the UK. Further blustery showers or longer spells of rain are expected, particularly so for more northern and western areas of the UK. At the moment no severe or extreme weather is expected later in the week despite it remaining unsettled and for the south some drier and brighter intervals should begin to develop at times.

Heavy Rainfall – Localised Flooding

Weather Map

Rainfall will continue to be a significant feature of the weather through this coming week and further rainfall totals will maintain that risk of localised flooding. It is across more southern, south-western and western areas of the UK that between today (Monday) and Friday that a general 50mm to 60mm or more of rainfall is possible. When this is combined with the recent very wet weather than again flooding is a risk. I have highlighted which areas are at primary risk of some flooding through this week in yellow;

Matt Hugo, Meteorologist

Friday 27 December 11am

Rather Cold and Showery

  • Sunshine and showers for many this weekend, particularly on Saturday, more persistent rain developing from the west by late Sunday.
  • Feeling rather cold and showers perhaps wintry above 300m across northern areas of the UK.
  • Widespread frost and some icy patches expected on Saturday night into Sunday.

Saturday

After another spell of wet and very windy conditions today (Friday) the weekend will provide a respite from the severe conditions and produce a spell of weather that is generally more ‘average’ for the time of year. Low pressure is expected to remain dominant across many areas and this will produce a mixture of sunshine and showers. Some of the showers will be perhaps heavy at times and given quite cold conditions then some sleet and snow are possible above 300m; in particular across Ireland, Scotland and Northern England through Saturday.

Sunday

A ridge of high pressure is expected to build across many areas overnight on Saturday and into Sunday morning and this will signal a general reduction in the frequency of the showers and also provide some lighter winds. As a result quite a widespread frost is expected on Saturday night and into Sunday and where surfaces have been left damp by the recent showers then some icy patches are possible as well.

Sunday, for most, will provide a window of better weather. Some showers still remain possible, but generally it will be bright and mainly dry after the cold start. Another low pressure is expected to approach from the west however and this will bring a wet and windy end to the day across Ireland in particular, but with most areas of England, Wales and Scotland generally remaining mainly dry until overnight and into Monday.

Medium and Long Term

There are many questions being asked with regards to how long the current and recent very unsettled conditions will last. Unfortunately no significant change in the weather is expected at the moment as 2013 ends and we move into January. There are signs that the frequency and perhaps intensity of the low pressure systems may well not be as severe as what most of December has been producing so far, but overall a generally unsettled theme is to be expected well into the first half of January.

The other noticeable feature as well is a gradual drop in temperatures into early January. As a result the frequency of frosts, ice and some sleet and snow may well increase as, at the moment, a rather cold start to January is preferred with little evidence to support mild or very mild conditions.

Matt Hugo, Meteorologist

Thursday 26 December 9pm

AA SORT Update

flooded car photo

  • The heavy rain and strong winds from Monday and Tuesday continues to cause a litany of problems for motorists on Britain’s roads.
  • The Environment Agency and the AA strongly advise not entering flood water that is moving or more than 10cm deep.
  • Since Monday the AA have dealt with over 1,100 cars either stuck in flood water or having broken down after driving therough floods.
  • Our teams have rescued drivers who have attempted to drive through deep flood water and have come to grief, in some cases having ignored ‘road closed’ warnings. Don’t think that if you have a 4x4 you are immune from becoming stranded. We have had to pull a number of vehicles that have so-called ‘off road’ capability out of water. Floods don’t count as ‘off road’ terrain.
  • On Christmas Eve we have had drivers ignoring ‘Road Closed’ signs and sweeping carelessly past our patrols who have been dealing with cars already stuck in the water only to find themselves in need of rescue seconds later. One SORT crew member was drenched by water as a motorist rushed past – thankfully he was wearing his drysuit.
  • Darron Burness, head of the AA’s Special Operations team says: “We are working closely with the Environment Agency, the Highways Agency and emergency services to help motorists stranded by floods. Our specially-equipped Land-Rovers have been used throughout the week and continue to be deployed across affected areas.
  • With another low pressure system expected during the night and into Friday, please stay flood aware with the Environment Agency and SEPA and stay tuned to local radio and social media for the latest in your area.

Ian, your man on Twitter @AASORT

Tuesday 24 December 2pm

AA SORT Update

workload photo

  • 24 hours of night of heavy rain and strong winds has brought a litany of problems for motorists on Britain’s roads.
  • AA Special Operations, have dealt with over 700 cars stranded in flood water in the last 2 days.
  • Darron Burness, head of the AA’s Special Operations team says: “We are working closely with the Environment Agency, the Highways Agency and emergency services to help motorists stranded by floods or roads closed due to falling trees. Our specially-equipped Land-Rovers have been used throughout the night and continue to be deployed in Dorset, Hampshire and Kent. As the storm moves northwards we will be there to assist motorists caught in the chaos.”
  • Our teams have rescued drivers who have attempted to drive through deep flood water and have come to grief, in some cases having ignored ‘road closed’ warnings. Don’t think that if you have a 4x4 you are immune from becoming stranded. We have had to pull a number of vehicles that have so-called ‘off road’ capability out of water. Floods don’t count as ‘off road’ terrain.
  • The Environment Agency and the AA strongly advise not entering flood water that is moving or more than 10cm deep.
  • Stay flood aware through Christmas with the Environment Agency and SEPA and stay tuned to local radio and social media for the latest in your area.
  • Links to all our driving advice for this conditions can be found top right of this page.
  • My thoughts, and those of the team, are with those affected by flooding in the last 24hrs, especially the families of the two people who tragically lost their lives in rivers yesterday. Please stay safe, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas on behalf of the team.

Ian, your man on Twitter @AASORT

Tuesday 24 December 00:00

AA SORT Update

workload photo

  • Motorists continue to put themselves and those responding to them at risk tonight as severe storms lash the UK!
  • The AA has attended over 16,000 breakdowns today, around 5,000 more than the normal Monday as the Christmas get-a-way and storms coincided.
  • I have spent all evening calling those motorists who have got their cars stuck in water. They have been given specific safety advice by a qualified Swiftwater Rescue Instructor (me) regarding their situation.
  • I implore motorists in the areas affected to stay at home, safe, warm and dry. If you absolutely have to travel, if it is essential, then please do not drive into flood water.
  • Moving flood water is powerful, relentless and deceptively dangerous. A foot or 30cm of moving water can float your car possibly sweeping you into deeper water
  • 32% of deaths during a flooding event occur by drowning in a vehicle! If that isn’t enough to deter you, and it should be, then the knowledge that ¾ of all motor insurance claims for flood damage result in a write off, should make your wallet wince!!
  • We have seen a number of rivers reach maximum recorded levels today, the rain currently falling could push these even higher.
  • There will definitely be some serious flooding through the night, and lots of flooded roads first thing. Please Think, Don’t Sink!
  • I’ll be back on twitter duties in the morning for now please be flood Aware with the Environment Agency and SEPA and stay tuned to local radio and social media for the latest in your area.
  • Links to all our driving advice for this conditions can be found top right of this page.
  • My thoughts, and those of the team, are with those affected by flooding tonight, especially the families of the two people who tragically lost their lives in rivers today. Please stay safe, I wish you a good night.

Ian, your man on Twitter @AASORT

Monday 23 December 5pm

AA SORT Update

workload photo

  • Heavy rain and gale force wind have brought flooding to many parts of the South of England and South Wales
  • A brief respite in the winds is expected later this evening before another area of low pressure brings more rain and strong winds
  • Flooding risk will only increase with the additional rain
  • We deployed the Flood rescue team yesterday in readiness; now high winds and heavy rain have lead to an increase in flood related breakdown calls
  • At the time of writing we had attended over 70 flood related breakdowns and over 140 relating directly to the weather
  • Met office Amber warnings are in place for both heavy rain, as much as 60mm of rain may fall in some places and also severe gales
  • There are an ever increasing volume of Flood Warnings and Alerts issued by both SEPA in Scotland, the Environment Agency for England and Wales Please take a moment to make sure you are Flood Aware.
  • The flooding situation is changing all the time so please stay tuned to local radio for the latest information.
  • At the time of writing there is a Severe Flood Warning in place for an area near Weymouth, Dorset
  • There are also in excess of 180 Flood Alerts and 42 Flood Warnings.
  • Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service have been called to a car in 3ft of flood water.

Comment from the Team

  • With the fall of darkness both flood water and storm debris on the roads are much harder to see. Please do not take risks, find another route if the road is flooded.
  • Darron Burness, head of the AA’s Flood rescue team, says: “We are working with the Environment Agency and the emergency services to provide support in the South West and elsewhere in southern counties.
  • Drivers should take considerable care while driving as the combination of high winds and heavy rain could be life threatening,” Darron Burness says, pointing out that a third of flood-related deaths involve a vehicle because drivers take unnecessary risks.
  • The AA have been called to many motorists this weekend caught out either by standing water on the roads or by driving through fords that are flowing faster and deeper than of late.
  • We urge motorists not to take risks and to stay out of flood water.

Please drive safely over the Christmas period, in 2012 we attended 9,000 vehicles with flood related breakdowns. Please don't be part of our 2013 statistics, safe travels.

Ian, your man on Twitter @AASORT

Monday 23 December 12pm

AA SORT Update

Archive photo

  • ‘Amber’ weather warning: possible flooding and storm damage to homes
  • We have deployed the Team across the South of England and South Wales as high winds and heavy rain are expected to affect southern counties over the next 24 hours, moving to the north-west on Christmas Eve.
  • AA Insurance has emailed over quarter of a million customers who could be affected by the forecast severe weather, offering advice on dealing with property damage, including flooding; and driving through flood water.
  • The Environment Agency have issued a joint statement with the AA it can be found here.
  • Met office Amber warnings are in place for both heavy rain, as much as 60mm of rain may fall in some places and also severe gales
  • These warnings have lead to the overall flood risk forecast issued by the environment agency to be raised to medium for some parts of the UK
  • There are already many specific Flood Warnings and Alerts Issued by both SEPA in Scotland, the Environment Agency for England and Wales Please take a moment to make sure you are Flood Aware.

Comment from the Team

  • Darron Burness, head of the AA’s Flood rescue team, says: “We are working with the Environment Agency and the emergency services to provide support in the South West and elsewhere in southern counties.
  • Drivers should take considerable care while driving as the combination of high winds and heavy rain could be life threatening,” Darron Burness says, pointing out that a third of flood-related deaths involve a vehicle because drivers take unnecessary risks.
  • This comes at a time when the AA and the Environment Agency recently warned that over half of drivers (54%)* admitted that they would risk endangering themselves by driving through flood water, while a quarter (27%) said they would drive through moving flood water that is more than a foot (30cm) deep.
  • Impacts could include flooding of properties and parts of communities and disruption to travel resulting in longer journey times with a number of roads likely to be closed.
  • The AA have been called to many motorists this weekend caught out either by standing water on the roads or by driving through fords that are flowing faster and deeper than of late.
  • We urge motorists not to take risks and to stay out of flood water.
  • This weekend we were called to a motorist who had ignored a road closure.This is clearly dangerous, an offence (some police forces now prosecute drivers) and insurers could reject any flood damage claim.

A few facts to bear in mind if faced by a flooded road whilst driving;

  • Just one foot of flowing water could be enough to move the average family car
  • 32% of all deaths during flood events are by drowning in a vehicle
  • 77% of motor insurance claims for flood damage result in the vehicle being written off – not the best start to Christmas.

Please drive safely over the Christmas period, in 2012 we attended 9,000 vehicles with flood related breakdowns. Please dont be part of our 2013 statistics, safe travels.

Ian, your man on Twitter @AASORT

* According to an AA-Populus study of 21,165 AA members

Monday 23 December 9am

Stormy then Cold and Showery Christmas

  • Stormy weather to start the week with heavy rain, gales and severe gales affecting a large portion of the country with possible travel disruption.
  • Christmas provides a window of quieter conditions, with a mixture of sunshine and showers, these perhaps wintry at times with quite cold conditions throughout.
  • The week is set to end as it began with yet another deep low pressure bringing potentially stormy conditions.

Monday

weather map

Monday and the start of the week in general, will produce yet another spell of severe weather for a large portion of the UK. An area of low pressure that is expected to have a central pressure near 930mb, which is exceptionally low, will be the driving force behind the wet and windy weather. Outbreaks of heavy rain are expected to sweep north and east across all areas during the day with then another spell of persistent rain following. This is bringing a widespread risk of precipitation totals above 15mm to 25mm across a large area of the UK. However, parts of the south and west of the UK are at primary risk of experiencing up to and over 50mm to 60mm by the time we get to the middle of Tuesday. I have highlighted, in yellow, which areas are at greatest risk of seeing the largest rainfall totals and the most significant risk of flooding within the next 24 hours or so.

It is also worth to highlight that high ground of Scotland and the far North of England is expected to see a spell of wintry weather through Monday, especially above 300m to 350m with snow accumulations of several centimeters. So if you’re travelling across higher level routes of the north today then this is something to consider as well.

weather map

The other significant feature of the weather will be the strength of the wind, particularly across northwestern areas of the UK, but also across more southern areas. A large area of the UK is at risk of strong winds and gales with gusts up to 40mph to 50mph. However, as Monday progresses attention is drawn to parts of Scotland and Ireland where winds may well gust up to 60mph to 70mph overnight and into Tuesday. Equally some very strong winds are expected for southern areas of the UK. Here too, wind gusts may well reach 60mph or more with a risk of structural damage and travel disruption this evening and overnight into Tuesday. Areas at greatest risk of disruptive wind speeds are shown in yellow on this map.

Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day

Forecast to provide a window of quieter conditions, though still unsettled. As a result Christmas this year is set to be quite cold with a general mixture of sunshine and showers. Longer spells of rain are possible at first across more northern areas and given that temperatures will be quite cold then some sleet and snow is possible across the northern half of the UK, especially above 250m to 300m. As a result a ‘white Christmas’ may well occur. Overnight frosts and perhaps some icy patches are possible as well with minimum temperatures by night falling near to, or below freezing, again especially across more northern regions of the UK.

A look ahead to Friday

The week is set to end as it begins. Yet another area of low pressure developing from the south-west is set to bring another spell of wet and potentially very windy weather across many areas during Friday (27th). The details remain uncertain at this stage, but once again focus on the strong winds, with severe gales and stormy conditions are currently likely to be across more northern and western areas of the UK. Also any further rainfall may well lead to the risk of further flooding across parts of the UK, especially those that have experienced large rainfall totals of late.

Whatever the weather, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!...

Matt Hugo, Meteorologist

Sunday 22 December 9pm

AA SORT Update

Storm

  • A significant spell of weather will take us into the Christmas Period.
  • The Environment Agency have issued a joint statement with the AA it can be found here.
  • Met office Amber warnings are in place for heavy rain from 7am tomorrow through till the morning of Christmas Eve. As much as 60mm of rain may fall in some places.
  • These warnings have lead to the overall flood risk forecast issued by the environment agency to be raised to medium for some parts of the UK
  • There are already many specific Flood Warnings and Alerts Issued by both SEPA in Scotland, the Environment Agency for England and Wales Please take a moment to make sure you are Flood Aware.
  • The Environment Agency has excellent advice for preparing for flooding.
  • In addition to the heavy rain there are also warnings for Ice, Snow and gale force winds. Again please take a moment to make sure you are prepared for what the weather may bring.

Comment from the Team

  • The heavy rain mentioned above will be falling on already saturated ground.
  • Impacts could include flooding of properties and parts of communities and disruption to travel resulting in longer journey times with a number of roads likely to be closed.
  • The AA have been called to many motorists this weekend caught out either by standing water on the roads or by driving through fords that are flowing faster and deeper than of late.
  • We urge motorists not to take risks and to stay out of flood water.
  • A few facts to bear in mind if faced by a flooded road whilst driving;
  • Just one foot of flowing water could be enough to move the average family car
  • 32% of all deaths during flood events are by drowning in a vehicle
  • 77% of motor insurance claims for flood damage result in the vehicle being written off – not the best start to Christmas.

The team have been deployed this evening ready to respond to any flooding impacts. Please drive safely over the Christmas period, in 2012 we attended 9,000 vehicles with flood related breakdowns. Please dont be part of our 2013 statistics, safe travels.

Ian, your man on Twitter @AASORT

Friday 20 December 11.30am

Wet and Windy then Cold and Showery

  • Becoming wet and windy, potentially very windy across northern and western areas throughout the rest of Friday and overnight into Saturday.
  • Persistent rain then showers bringing an increased risk of localised flooding to some areas of the UK.
  • Weekend, as a whole, will be rather cold and showery, showers most frequent across northern and western areas and wintry on hills, especially above 300m.

The persistent run of unsettled conditions will continue through the remainder of Friday and into the weekend. The weather will turn increasingly wet and windy from the west as Friday progresses. As a result by evening many areas will be very unsettled with showers and longer spells of rain moving eastwards. Gales are once again expected with gusts up to 40mph to 50mph possible quite widely across the UK. However, gusts up to 60mph to 70mph are possible across parts of Ireland, Scotland, through the Irish Sea and also perhaps through the English Channel. Some travel disruption is possible as a result.

The Weekend

Overall the weekend will be dominated by low pressure but rather than persistent rain more in the way of showery conditions are expected. However across southern England on Saturday we may well see a more persistent spell of heavy rain before it clears away later in the day. The remainder of the UK will have a mixture of sunshine and showers. The air mass will be cold enough for sleet and snow showers, especially above 250m to 300m across Scotland and Ireland, but perhaps later in the day across Northern England. Quite an active zone of weather may move across Northern England and Southern Scotland during Saturday evening bringing some torrential rain, gusty winds and perhaps some hail for a time.

Sunday remains dominated by a rather cold west or south-westerly wind. This will maintain that risk of sunshine and showers, these most frequent across northern and western areas but all areas of the UK are at risk of some showers at times. Once again the showers may well fall as sleet and snow across higher ground of the north with some accumulating snowfall expected across Scotland in particular with perhaps over 10cm of snowfall by the end on Sunday above 300m to 400m. Some localised icy patches may also develop, but generally the strength of the wind over the weekend, by night, should prohibit any widespread ice from forming.

weather map

The continued risk of showers and longer spells of rain is bringing a continued increasing risk of flooding across some areas of the UK and this will be the primary hazard for most this weekend. I have highlighted which areas are at risk of some flooding over the weekend in yellow, primarily due to further heavy rain and showers, but also across the north due to melting snow combining with further rainfall.

Matt Hugo, Meteorologist

Thursday 19 December 3pm

AA SORT Update

Car in water

  • We'd like to remind drivers about the dangers of driving through fords. Of our top 15 flood workload hotspots, 10 are at fords!
  • Don’t assume that a ford is always safe to cross just because the road goes into the river on one side and comes out on the other – the depth of the water and its flow rate will change with the weather.
  • If you’re at all unsure of the conditions it’s safer to go the long way round rather than risk your vehicle being swept down river – conditions can change very quickly, particularly following heavy rain.
  • The picture above is Buttsbury Ford, Ingatstone, Essex.
  • Please Think Don't Sink! be aware of the dangers of flood water
  • Met Office warnings for more rain on Friday will increase the flooding risk again
  • Make Sure you stay Flood Aware with the Environment Agency and SEPA.

Overnight

  • There are Met Office warnings for ice in place for overnight.
  • If driving in icy or snowy conditions makes you feel nervous then check out our driving advice page
  • Gentle manoeuvres are the key to safe driving- stopping distances are 10 times longer in ice and snow
  • If you have to use brakes then apply them gently. Release the brakes and de-clutch if the car skids.

Ian, your man on Twitter @AASORT

Wednesday 18 December 22:30

AA SORT Update

Workload map

  • Storm force winds and heavy rain are battering the UK and Ireland
  • As of 10pm we had been called to over 50 flood related breakdowns, the majority since darkness fell.
  • Please Think Don't Sink! be aware of the dangers of flood water
  • Met Office Amber warnings for severe gales remain in place overnight
  • Stay Flood Aware with the Environment Agency and SEPA.

A brief look at Thursday

  • There are Met Office warnings for snow in place for the morning. Along with advanced warnings of ice for tomorrow night.
  • Please make sure you are prepared for any journeys tomorrow. Did you pack that car kit?
  • If driving in icy or snowy conditions makes you feel nervous then check out our driving advice page
  • Lastly; the rain falling with this storm is likely to leave a lot of standing water on the roads. Places where the road fords a stream or river will also be running faster and deeper than of late. Please Think, Don't Sink! Be aware of the flood dangers and check out our driving advice page too

Ian, your man on Twitter @AASORT

Wednesday 18 December 11am

Gales and Severe Gales – Then Snow

  • Wet and very windy weather developing across many areas throughout the remainder of Wednesday and overnight into Thursday.
  • A temporary spell of colder weather through Thursday and into Friday bringing a risk of wintry precipitation for some areas.
  • Colder weather quickly declines as Friday progresses though as further milder conditions re-develop but along with it comes further heavy rain and gales.

Wednesday

weather map

Quite a rapidly developing situation is taking place for the remainder of Wednesday and overnight into Thursday.. As the remainder of Wednesday progresses a band of very heavy rain along with squally winds is forecast to move west to east across all areas. Winds associated with active zone of weather may well reach 50mph even across some inland areas, but especially across coasts and hills. Of concern is the development of a zone of very strong storm force winds, across the far north and north-west of Ireland and then across all parts of western and northern Scotland overnight. Winds here may well gust up to 80mph with a significant risk of travel disruption and possible structural damage. The graphic below highlights which areas are at greatest risk in red and with a lower risk in yellow.

Thursday

Into Thursday and attention is then directed towards a brief but potentially quite significant spell of wintry weather for many northern and western areas of the UK in particular. As the low pressure clears away to the north, colder westerly wind is expected to bring a mixture of sunshine and wintry showers.

weather map

At the moment Scotland, Ireland and Northern England, particularly above 200m to 300m is at risk of some snow accumulations by the end of Thursday and overnight into Friday morning. Across parts of western Scotland up to 10cm or more may well be in evidence by Friday morning, whilst further south a general 2cm to 5cm may well fall, again above 200m to 300m in particular. I have highlighted in red the areas at greatest risk of possible disruption from snow and with a lower risk across areas highlighted yellow. It should be noted that some wet snow and temporary, slushy accumulations may occur as far south as Dartmoor and Exmoor and across other hills of the south. But primarily the greatest risk will be reserved for more northern and western areas of the UK.

Friday

Friday morning may well start particularly wintry for some northern and western areas, again especially on higher ground above 200m to 300m but perhaps not exclusively. However, the colder westerly wind is forecast to become increasingly south-westerly through the day as yet another area of low pressure develops to the west of the UK. This is set to bring a renewed risk of more prolonged spells of rain and gales or perhaps severe gales to many northern and western areas of the UK as Friday progresses with any lying snow melting across most areas by the end of the day.

Rainfall Totals

weather map

Rainfall totals are beginning to increase given the very unsettled conditions and further spells of wet and windy weather through the rest of the week will lead to increasing totals. The addition of snowfall as well, which will then melt into Friday may well compound matters bringing a potentially rapid increase in precipitation totals. At the moment it remains that many northern and western areas of the UK that are at primary risk of the largest rainfall totals and a subsequent risk of flooding. I have highlighted the areas at main risk through the rest of the week in yellow. It is across these areas that flooding is likely to become a more significant risk between now and the end of Friday.

Matt Hugo, Meteorologist

Monday 16 December 9am

Gales, Heavy Rain and Wintry Precipitation

  • Gales and severe gales expected for many northern and western areas around mid-week.
  • Risk of some heavy rain and increasingly large rainfall totals for some northern and western areas as the week progresses.
  • Temperatures around average, though briefly milder mid-week. Risk of some wintry precipitation in the north and west on Thursday in particular.

The coming week will provide a very good example of why, most of the time, the weather across the UK is as varied as it comes. Low pressure will be the primary dominant feature of the weather and this will bring overall unsettled conditions. This week will produce some day-to-day variations that will lead to a particularly changeable week.

Monday

The week is starting particularly wet. For England and Wales quite a wet start to the day is expected and the rain will become slow moving across many central and southern areas of England through the day and overnight leading to some locally large rainfall totals in places. A colder night than of late is then set to follow across more northern and western areas with a risk of some frost in places.

Tuesday

Expected to be the best day of the week. Any early rain across the far south-east of England will finally clear and most of England and Wales will be dry with bright or sunny spells. For Scotland and Ireland whilst it may well start dry and quite bright an increasingly strong south-westerly wind is expected with some rain or showers developing as the day progresses.

Wednesday

In contrast to Tuesday, is forecast to be the most unsettled day of the week. An active area of low pressure developing to the west of the UK is forecast to bring a spell of wet and very windy conditions across all areas of the UK through the day and overnight into Thursday. Heavy rain and showers are likely to sweep from west to east with locally large rainfall totals and winds. Strong winds particularly across northern and western areas of the UK, are expected to gust up to 50mph to 60mph, but locally higher across parts of Scotland and Ireland. So Wednesday, is, forecast to be a particularly inclement day given heavy rain and very strong winds. Travel disruption is possible and this is something to bear in mind if you have any travel plans through the day.

Thursday

The week is set to end on a colder theme, particularly on Thursday as a rather cold westerly wind becomes established, at least for a time. As a result many areas on Thursday are at risk of sunshine and blustery showers, these most frequent across Scotland, Ireland and Northern England and above 200m to 300m in particular some sleet and snow showers are possible, with perhaps some accumulations across Scotland. As a result attention turns towards wintry conditions on Thursday if you’re traveling.

Friday

Friday is likely to start dry for many areas after a potentially cold start but yet another low pressure system moving in will bring a renewed spell of milder conditions, with outbreaks of heavy rain and strong winds moving across many areas later in the day.

Severe Weather

Severe weather this week will be orientated around gales, increasingly large rainfall totals and then potentially wintry precipitation on Thursday. The first graphic highlights which areas are at greatest risk of experiencing up to and over 50mm (2 inches) of rainfall throughout the week with perhaps locally higher totals and it is across these areas that some localised flooding may well occur. The second graphic highlights which areas are at greatest risk of experiencing wind speeds above 50mph to 60mph with a risk of possible structural damage on Wednesday and finally the third graphic highlights which areas are at greatest risk, currently, of wintry precipitation above 200m to 300m on Thursday;

weather map

Matt Hugo, Meteorologist

Friday 13 December 1pm

Very Unsettled – Severe Gales in the North and West

  • Gales and severe gales developing across Scotland, Ireland and Northern England, gusts over 60mph to 70mph possible.
  • Showers and longer spells of rain for many areas, but again particularly for more northern and western areas of the UK.
  • Temperatures around average, if not slightly above average, but feeling colder given the strong winds and rain.

The weather pattern across the UK and the North Atlantic is and will continue to be stuck in a rut. That ‘rut’ results in bringing an increased risk of some very strong winds for parts of the north and west of the UK in particular.

Saturday

weather map

Will dawn very wet and very windy across Scotland and Ireland in particular with some heavy rain. Whilst the rain will be heavy at times, focus has to be placed on the strength of the winds. At the moment many areas of Scotland, Ireland and Northern England, particularly Cumbria, are at risk of experiencing wind gusts in excess of 60mph to 70mph, particularly across exposed coasts and hills. Travel disruption and structural damage are distinctly possible. I have highlighted, on the associated graphic which areas are at greatest risk of winds up to 60mph to 70mph in red and those with a lower risk in yellow;

In contrast many southern and south-eastern areas of England are forecast to be mainly dry with some bright spells, but perhaps with some rainfall later in the day.

Sunday

Almost produces almost a repeat performance. Yet another area of low pressure developing to the south-west of the UK is forecast to move north-eastwards and pass just to the north-west of the UK as Sunday progresses. So whilst wind speeds are likely to decrease somewhat later in the day on Saturday and overnight into Sunday across northern and western areas, they are then forecast to re-strengthen during Sunday morning.

The remainder of the day then sees further wet and very windy conditions developing across many areas of Ireland, Scotland and parts of Northern England once more and it is the areas highlighted on the associated map for Saturday that are currently likely to be at primary risk on Sunday as well. Some rain or showers are expected further south on Sunday, but winds here, across Central and Southern England, will be markedly less than further north and west.

So, quite an active weekend of weather on the way and emphasis definitely has to be put on Ireland, Scotland and parts of Northern England experiencing two bouts of very strong and potentially disruptive winds but with Saturday currently likely to be the windiest day of the two.

Matt Hugo, Meteorologist

A note from the Team

In light of the forecast above, please take extra care if you are driving in the areas at highest risk this weekend.

  • Sudden gusts can blow any vehicle off course. Keep your distance from all other vehicles and take particular care around cyclists, motorcyclists and horse-riders.
  • If you break down on the motorway or on any busy road in gusty weather it's important to bear in mind that lorries and other high-sided vehicles could be blown off course suddenly and may veer onto the hard shoulder. It's safer to move to a safe location away from the vehicle rather than wait in the car to be rescued.

All that being said, on behalf of the team I'd like to wish you all a great weekend!

Ian, your man on Twitter @AASORT

Wednesday 11-12-13, 9am

Increasingly unsettled

  • Increasingly unsettled across northern and western areas with rain or showers at times and windy
  • Mainly dry across central and southern areas with an on-going risk of fog, especially Thursday morning
  • Temperatures remaining mild for the time of year

The mid-week period continues to provide predominantly dry conditions for many central and southern areas of the UK in particular with some bright or sunny spells.

Fog will continue to be a risk in the next day or so - overnight on Wednesday and into Thursday morning across many central and southern areas of England. Expect poor driving conditions on Thursday morning as a result.

North and West

Further north and west, the weather will become increasingly unsettled through Thursday and Friday. Showers or longer spells of rain are expected to develop across many areas of Scotland and Ireland through Thursday.

Some locally heavy rain is possible at times and the wet weather will be accompanied by a strong or perhaps locally gale force south-westerly wind bringing poor driving conditions.

Friday

Friday is forecast to be particularly unsettled across northern and western areas with some rain, showers and strong winds, but also with some rain or showers making progress down across southern and eastern areas of England by this time. The recent mild conditions will continue with little or no risk of frost, ice or wintry precipitation.

Weekend

The early outlook for the weekend is for some particularly disturbed weather to affect parts of Scotland and Ireland with further showers, longer spells of rain and gales or even severe gales.

Drier and brighter conditions are possible further south and east, across parts of England and Wales, but with rain or showers possible at times.

It will remain mild overall, though feeling rather cold across northern and western areas in the wind and rain.

It looks like there will be little change in the medium and longer term with unsettled and relatively mild conditions dominating.

Matt Hugo, Meteorologist

Tuesday 10 December, 9am

This Week at AA SORT

CFOA and Twitter logos

The thoughts of all of us here at AA SORT are with everyone affected by the recent floods. Sadly, even in the five years that this team have been running we have seen first hand the devastating effects that flood water has on communities. However, all of the major flooding events we have attended have one key thing in common; from Cockermouth to Lostwithiel, The Somerset Levels to Morpeth, events like last week bring communities together around a common goal to rebuild and replace that which was lost. A collective strength of spirit to overcome and move forward. We wish those affected all the very best as they start the clean up and rebuild.

Looking at Matt's forecast below, after a week in which it felt like the weather threw everything it had at the UK, we are expecting a quieter week this week. But here at AA SORT we are always kept busy;

  • Darron and John will be at the CFOA (Chief Fire Officers Association) Water Rescue Group meeting in London tomorrow.
  • Somewhat appropriately in light of events last week the CFOA water rescue group is chaired by Roy Harold the CFO of Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service.
  • We anticipate that the events of last week will dominate the meeting.
  • Last week saw the first instance of the AA being called out as part of the Fire Service Resilience process. We responded to a request on Thursday evening from Humberside and deployed a water rescue team in time for the High Tide at 8am Friday morning.
  •  

    Away from CFOA there are a number of other things going on;

  • Darron and I will be in London this week for a meeting to discuss the teams approach to Social Media
  • We will be looking at ways that I can improve the content we provide; both at times of severe weather and when the sun is shining
  • We'll be looking at ways we can support key contacts like the Fire Service, Environment Agency and Met Office with their own social media campaigns. Something that we started recently with a joint campaign about driving during flooding with the Environment Agency
  • If you have any feedback on what i do with the @AASORT twitter account please let me know. I'm always looking for constructive feedback.

Some key notes from us;

  • The weekend just gone saw a high number of drivers being caught out by flood water
  • Thankfully the cases we dealt with posed no risk to life, but they certainly had a high risk to personal finances so close to Christmas
  • Recent research by the AA showed that 76% of all motor insurance claims for flood damage resulted in the car being written off. Instances where drivers have ignored road closed signs are becoming more prevalent; this is dangerous, an offence and insurers could reject any flood damage claim.
  • Remember; Think, Don't Sink. Don't risk driving into flood water! Stay Safe

Ian, your man on Twitter at @AASORT

Monday 9 December, 9am

Dry in the South, Wet in the North

  • Many northern and western areas of the UK at risk of some rain or showers at times this week, but very mild with it.
  • Generally drier and cooler further south and east.
  • Little or no risk of any wintry conditions this week.

A general north & west, south & east split in the weather is expected this week and that will be evident during Monday and Tuesday. A mild south or south-westerly wind will bring the risk of some rain, showers and drizzle to Scotland and Ireland in particular, whilst the majority of England and Wales is dry with some bright or sunny spells. It will be mild for many areas with temperatures generally ranging between 8C and 11C, though some areas, especially to the east of high ground may well reach 12C to 14C!

Little changes by mid-week, if anything more of the country may well experience a drier day. Some overnight mist and fog patches may be possible across England and Wales, but overall winds will generally be too strong for any widespread fog development. A mild mid-week is still expected, but with temperatures still generally cooler across England and Wales than compared with Scotland and Ireland.

As we progress towards the end of the week an increased risk of showers and longer spells of rain is expected across Scotland, Ireland, Northern England and perhaps Wales by Thursday and Friday. In contrast southern and south-eastern areas of England are likely to maintain predominantly dry conditions. The mild temperatures will also continue across many areas, but generally feeling a little cooler where rather wet and windy conditions persist.

So a rather ‘quiet’ week of weather is expected with little or no risk of any wintry conditions to be concerned about. Rainfall total across parts of west and north-west Scotland may begin to become quite significant by the end of the week, but overall no severe or disruptive weather is expected anywhere across the UK this week. Be aware of localised mist and fog patches however, particularly across central and southern areas of England around the middle of the week.

Matt Hugo, Meteorologist

Friday 6 December, 9am

Settled In the South, Unsettled In the North

  • A general north and south divide this weekend with some rain or showers in the north, often dry and settled in the south.
  • Early wintry conditions expected Friday evening in the north with a spell of snow for Scotland and Northern England.
  • Temperatures recovering through the weekend with many areas mild or locally very mild by Sunday.

After the particularly eventful spell of weather over the last 24 hours, the coming weekend will see a marked progression back towards more benign conditions. However before that occurs a rather cold and wintry day is expected for most throughout Friday as temperatures remain below average and with a distinctly chilly feel across northern and eastern areas of the country in particular.

weather map

Through Friday afternoon and evening a warm front moving in off the Atlantic will bring the risk of a spell of snow later on this evening with a subsequent risk of icy conditions. At the moment, above 200m to 250m across Scotland and Northern England then 2cm to 5cm of snowfall seems possible. There may also be a spell of freezing rain as well across some north-eastern areas of country. I have highlighted on the associated graphic which areas may see some snow, freezing rain and icy conditions later today – Note that low lying and coastal areas will see rain or drizzle

Into the weekend and high pressure remains a persistent feature. This is forecast to introduce a much milder west or south-westerly air mass across many areas, but especially in the north and west. For Scotland and Ireland a strong south-westerly wind is expected along with some weak weather fronts. These are likely to bring some rain or drizzle at times, especially to Northern Ireland and Northern and Western Scotland.

Many areas of England and Wales are set fair; with some bright or sunny spells by day despite some variable amounts of cloud. There will perhaps be some overnight mist and fog patches developing locally, but generally there’ll be too much of a breeze for that to happen. Temperatures over the weekend, as highlighted, will rise and by Sunday highs ranging between 8C and 12C are expected, with the highest temperatures being across Scotland and Ireland with little or no risk of any overnight frost or icy conditions by that time.

Matt Hugo, Meteorologist

Thursday 5 December, 11:55pm

Situation Update 23:55

Dramatic but Dangerous

  • AA SORT have been called out by the FRSNCC (Fire and Rescue Service National Control Centre) to assist with ongoing flood response in Hull.
  • The Team have deployed our Type C Boat team and they have just arrived at the Strategic Holding Area.
  • A severe Tidal surge, potentially the worst in 60 years has been forecast by the Environment Agency.
  • Communities along the East coast face an extremely dangerous overnight period. At the time of writing over 57 SEVERE FLOOD WARNINGS have been issued by the Environment Agency.
  • Severe flood warnings are for extreme flooding that pose a risk to life. We urge you to be prepared and not take risks.
  • Many thousands of homes are being evacuated tonight.
  • Coastal flooding has already been seen in North Wales, Lancashire, Humberside, Lincolnshire and Norfolk
  • Flooding is expected to hit Suffolk, Essex and Kent overnight. The Environment Agency have stated that in some place sea defences will definitely be overtopped.
  • Full details of the flood warnings are here.
  • In addition to the above there remains Met Office severe weather warnings for Ice, Snow and strong winds covering many areas, full details are here.
  • All the links to our weather related driving advice can be found at the top of this page

Some key advice from us;

  • Emergency Services are reminding the public to only use 999 for Emergencies. Especially so overnight
  • We would recommend that the public move their cars away from the coast or tidal rivers. We've seen a number of incidents today where cars have been flood damaged unnecessarily.
  • If sea water does damage your vehicle be warned of electrical issues such as spontaneous deployment of airbags!
  • Plan your journey, don’t attempt to drive down roads that have been closed due to flooding, avoid fords and check both weather and traffic bulletins regularly, remembering that some exposed roads or bridges may be subject to closures because of floods, high winds or fallen trees.
  • “I would particularly warn motorists to avoid coastal routes where the combination of high winds and flooding with sea water will be life-threatening,” Darron Burness says, pointing out that a third of flood-related deaths involve a vehicle because drivers take unnecessary risks.
  • If you live in an area at risk be prepared to leave your home if asked to by the emergency services
  • Remember; Think, Don't Sink. Don't risk driving into flood water! Stay Safe

Ian, your man on Twitter at @AASORT

Thursday 5 December, 9pm

Situation Update 21:00

Dramatic but Dangerous

  • A severe Tidal surge, potentially the worst in 60 years has been forecast by the Environment Agency.
  • Communities along the East coast face an extremely dangerous overnight period. At the time of writing over 50 SEVERE FLOOD WARNINGS have been issued by the Environment Agency.
  • Severe flood warnings are for extreme flooding that pose a risk to life. We urge you to be prepared and not take risks.
  • Many thousands of homes are being evacuated tonight.
  • Coastal flooding has already been seen in North Wales, Lancashire, Humberside and Lincolnshire.
  • Flooding is expected to hit Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Kent overnight. The Environment Agency have stated that in some place sea defences will definitely be overtopped.
  • Full details of the flood warnings are here.

Some key advice from us;

  • Emergency Services are reminding the public to only use 999 for Emergencies. Especially so overnight
  • We would recommend that the public move their cars away from the coast or tidal rivers. We've seen a number of incidents today where cars have been flood damaged unnecessarily.
  • If sea water does damage your vehicle be warned of electrical issues such as spontaneous deployment of airbags!
  • We Urge the public to take these flood warnings seriously and to prepare accordingly. The Environment Agency have details on making flood plans here
  • Make sure you are flood aware with Local Radio, your local council and Environment Agency regional accounts.
  • Plan your journey, don’t attempt to drive down roads that have been closed due to flooding, avoid fords and check both weather and traffic bulletins regularly, remembering that some exposed roads or bridges may be subject to closures because of floods, high winds or fallen trees.
  • “I would particularly warn motorists to avoid coastal routes where the combination of high winds and flooding with sea water will be life-threatening,” Darron Burness says, pointing out that a third of flood-related deaths involve a vehicle because drivers take unnecessary risks.
  • If you live in an area at risk be prepared to leave your home if asked to by the emergency services
  • Remember; Think, Don't Sink. Don't risk driving into flood water! Stay Safe

Ian, your man on Twitter at @AASORT

Thursday 5 December, 5pm

Situation Update 17:00

Dramatic but Dangerous

Some key advice from us;

  • Emergency Services are reminding the public to only use 999 for Emergencies. Especially so overnight
  • We would recommend that the public move their cars away from the coast or tidal rivers. We've seen a number of incidents today where cars have been flood damaged unnecessarily.
  • If sea water does damage your vehicle be warned of electrical issues such as spontaneous deployment of airbags!
  • We Urge the public to take these flood warnings seriously and to prepare accordingly. The Environment Agency have details on making flood plans here
  • Make sure you are flood aware with Local Radio, your local council and Environment Agency regional accounts.
  • Plan your journey, don’t attempt to drive down roads that have been closed due to flooding, avoid fords and check both weather and traffic bulletins regularly, remembering that some exposed roads or bridges may be subject to closures because of floods, high winds or fallen trees.
  • “I would particularly warn motorists to avoid coastal routes where the combination of high winds and flooding with sea water will be life-threatening,” Darron Burness says, pointing out that a third of flood-related deaths involve a vehicle because drivers take unnecessary risks.
  • If you live in an area at risk be prepared to leave your home if asked to by the emergency services
  • Remember; Think, Don't Sink. Don't risk driving into flood water! Stay Safe

Ian, your man on Twitter at @AASORT

Thursday 5 December, 2.30pm

Situation Update 14:30

Dramatic but Dangerous

  • A severe Tidal surge, potentially the worst in 60 years has been forecast by the Environment Agency.
  • An unprecedented number of Severe Flood Warnings (A danger to life) from the Environment Agency. At the time of writing there are 28, along with 162 Flood Warnings and 60 Flood Alerts.
  • Flooding is expected on the East coast of Scotland and is already affecting North Wales too. Follow SEPA and Natural Resources Wales for the latest.
  • Impacts of the storm will include flooding of coastal properties and communities, over-topping of sea defences and travel disruption.
  • Worst of the High tides in England will occur after dark from 5pm tonight through till 3am on Friday Morning.
  • We have deployed Swiftwater Reascue Technician Crews along the East Coast from Grimsby to Sandwich in Kent.
  • The team have been put on standby by Norfolk Fire Brigade as part of a national response. If called we would deploy a Defra type C boat team.
  • Gales expected across England Wales and NI during the day. The latest Met Office Warnings are here. Storms have already caused Widespread disruption across Scotland.
  • Keep your speed down and watch for branches or other debris on the road ahead. If you break down on the motorway, get out of your car to a place of safety – high-sided vehicles may be affected by high winds and stray on to the hard shoulder
  • The Met Office also have warnings in place for snow in Northern Scotland and Ice down the Westcoast into the Midlands of England, see warnings here

Some key advice from us;

  • We Urge the public to take these flood warnings seriously and to prepare accordingly. The Environment Agency have details on making flood plans here
  • Make sure you are flood aware with Local Radio, your local council and Environment Agency regional accounts.
  • Plan your journey, don’t attempt to drive down roads that have been closed due to flooding, avoid fords and check both weather and traffic bulletins regularly, remembering that some exposed roads or bridges may be subject to closures because of floods, high winds or fallen trees.
  • “I would particularly warn motorists to avoid coastal routes where the combination of high winds and flooding with sea water will be life-threatening,” Darron Burness says, pointing out that a third of flood-related deaths involve a vehicle because drivers take unnecessary risks.
  • If you live in an area at risk be prepared to leave your home if asked to by the emergency services
  • Remember; Think, Don't Sink. Don't risk driving into flood water! Stay Safe

Ian, your man on Twitter at @AASORT

Thursday 5 December, 10am

Sit-Rep 10:00

Dramatic but Dangerous

  • A severe Tidal surge, potentially the worst in 30 years has been forecast by the Environment Agency.
  • An unprecedented number of Severe Flood Warnings (A danger to life) from the Environment Agency. At the time of writing there are 26, along with 132 Flood Warnings and 60 Flood Alerts.
  • Flooding expected on the East coast of Scotland and North Wales too. Follow SEPA and Natural Resources Wales for the latest.
  • Impacts of the storm will include flooding of coastal properties and communities, over-topping of sea defences and travel disruption.
  • Worst of the High tides in England will occur after dark from 5pm tonight through till 3am on Friday Morning.
  • Severe Gales are battering Scotland. Rail services were stopped earlier and Police Scotland are dealing with high call volumes to RTCs, overturned HGVs and flash flooding.
  • Gales expected across England Wales and NI during the day. The latest Met Office Warnings are here
  • The Met Office also have a warning in place for snow in Northern Scotland, see warnings here

Some key advice from us;

  • We Urge the public to take these flood warnings seriously and to prepare accordingly. The Environment Agency have details on making flood plans here
  • Make sure you are flood aware with Local Radio, your local council and Environment Agency regional accounts.
  • Plan your journey, don’t attempt to drive down roads that have been closed due to flooding, avoid fords and check both weather and traffic bulletins regularly, remembering that some exposed roads or bridges may be subject to closures because of floods, high winds or fallen trees.
  • “I would particularly warn motorists to avoid coastal routes where the combination of high winds and flooding with sea water will be life-threatening,” Darron Burness says, pointing out that a third of flood-related deaths involve a vehicle because drivers take unnecessary risks.
  • If you live in an area at risk be prepared to leave your home if asked to by the emergency services
  • Remember; Think, Don't Sink. Don't risk driving into flood water! Stay Safe

Ian, your man on Twitter at @AASORT

Thursday 5 December, 7am

Be Prepared

Dramatic but Dangerous

  • The Environment Agency are warning communities along the length of the east coast of England to be braced for the most serious coastal tidal surge for over 30 years
  • North Wales and the East Coast of Scotland are also at serious risk of coastal flooding
  • We are monitoring the East Coast flooding situation and have deployed flood rescue crews to North Wales, Washington, Grimsby, Cromer and Sandwich
  • North of the Border in Scotland we have crews ready to respond to both coastal flooding and the forecasted snow.
  • It is usual at this time of year for the team for the team to be proactive from a pre deployment point of view, but also reactive as and when severe weather hits.
  • The Environment Agency and SEPA have all of the latest on the expected floods. Links to our weather related driving advice are at the top right of this page.
  • North Wales will see the first High Tide expected to cause problems. High tides are around Noon today
  • Eastern Scotland will be next with tides peaking from 2pm onwards as the tide moves south.
  • The NE of England will see tides peaking from 5pm with tides peaking in Norfolk around 8pm with high tides in Kent on the Medway at 0200hrs Friday.
  • Take time to make yourself flood aware; follow social media and listening to local radio for up to date information
  • Evacuations are quite likely, make sure you are prepared to move promptly if asked.
  • We will continue to exchange information with the Flood Forecasting Centre in Exeter. Helping us be prepared to assist you if needed.
  • Gales and Severe Gales are forecast for today too. The warnings cover most areas of the UK; Check the latest warnings here
  • The Met Office also have a warning in place for snow in Northern Scotland, see warnings here
  • Amongst all of this National Manager John is in London today to attend an In Government Resilience conference attended by many of the emergency services and representatives from Government and the Environment Agency.
  • We also have a planned visit by Richard from the Fire Service College at Moreton. Richard will be assessing us against the criteria needed to meet a Defra type C flood rescue asset. The overly keen amongst you can find out more about the Defra team types here

Some key notes from us;

  • Please stay safe and keep yourself flood aware with either the Environment Agency or SEPA.
  • Tune to local radio/TV and monitor social media for the key messages for your area from emergency services.
  • Take measures to protect your property. Do you have a flood plan?
  • If you live in an area at risk be prepared to leave your home if asked to by the emergency services
  • Remember; Think, Don't Sink. Don't risk driving into flood water!

Ian, your man on Twitter at @AASORT

Wednesday 4 December, 9am

Gales and Cold Weather

  • Gales and severe gales developing across many northern areas of the UK later on Wednesday and into Thursday – Disruption possible.
  • Turning much colder behind a southward moving cold front with a cold end to the week with temperatures below average, especially in the north and east.
  • Risk of snow for some northern areas of the UK – Milder by late Friday and the weekend though.

Thursday will dawn with gales and severe gales affecting many areas of Scotland, Ireland and soon developing across Northern England - winds gusting up to 50mph to 60mph are expected with some structural damage possible along with trees being felled.

Winds may reach 70mph to 80mph across parts of Scotland in what is expected to be quite a severe spell of weather. A spell of heavy rain or squally showers will also accompany the cold front.

Following behind will be a much colder north or north-westerly air mass which will bring frequent sleet and snow showers to Scotland initially, but also with some filtering down into Northern Ireland, NW England and perhaps N Wales later in the day on Thursday and overnight into Friday.

More than 10cm of snow is possible across northern and eastern Scotland in to Friday morning, bringing some travel disruption. The map shows the areas at greatest risk of strong winds and also snowfall.

weather map

Note the large area of Northern UK at risk of gales/severe gales on Thursday.

Conditions will slowly begin to improve into Friday. Further sleet and snow showers are possible across northern and eastern Scotland in particular, but these generally becoming fewer and far between with time. Equally some outbreaks of light rain and drizzle may develop across Ireland through the day, whilst many central and southern areas of England and Wales have a cold but mainly dry and bright day.

Moving into the weekend, conditions soon become milder across Scotland, Ireland and eventually Northern England where mostly cloudy and rather damp conditions are expected at times, whilst central and southern areas generally maintain somewhat cooler and drier conditions.

Matt Hugo, Meteorologist

Monday 2 December, 9am

Fine and settled start, much colder later

  • Mainly dry, fine and settled start to the week across many areas
  • Weak weather front bringing colder air into the north on Wednesday, remaining mild further south
  • Thursday and Friday turning much colder across all areas with a risk of sleet and snow in places

Beginning

The mainly dry but mostly cloudy conditions of late will continue through Monday across many areas and generally it will be quite mild. Overnight pockets of frost and fog remain a risk where skies clear.  A weak weather front approaching Scotland overnight will introduce more extensive cloud here with some rain or drizzle into Tuesday.

During Tuesday a weather front moving slowly south-eastwards will bring thicker cloud and further outbreaks of mainly light rain and drizzle - initially across Scotland but then extending further south into Northern England. Ahead of this across central and southern areas of England and Wales it will remain mainly dry but mostly cloudy, with some bright spells at times. Locally and regionally some fog patches may be possible.

Middle

During the middle of the week the weak weather front across northern areas is expected to gradually clear away to the south introducing a colder and clearer air mass across most areas. Whilst feeling colder on Wednesday many areas will be markedly brighter with sunny spells at times, though some scattered wintry showers are possible across central and northern areas of Scotland through the day.

End

The end of the week is expected to produce a marked change in conditions as quite an active cold front is forecast to move southwards, quickly, across many areas on Thursday. Some heavy rain and showers are expected along with some potentially very strong and gusty winds.

weather map

The rain and showers may turn wintry across higher ground of Scotland and Northern England. Following on behind will be a particularly cold northerly air mass bringing frequent sleet and snow showers affecting Scotland, Northern Ireland, West Wales and Northeast England.

Friday for most is expected to be a dry but cold day with sunny spells and just a few wintry showers.

More persistent and frequent snow showers are expected to continue across parts of Scotland and perhaps Eastern England with possible accumulations in places. Winds will remain strong so it will feel very cold with some harsh overnight frosts and the risk of icy conditions, especially where there have been wintry showers by day.

The map shows the areas currently at greatest risk of the most snowfall during the end of the week. While snow will be a hazard to end the week, gales or perhaps severe gales are possible as well across the same northern and eastern areas of the UK with possible gusts in excess of 60mph.

Matt Hugo, Meteorologist

November 2013 posts >
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August 2013 posts >
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December 2012 posts >

 

About the Special Operations Response Team (SORT)

Each vehicle is double-crewed and trained in flood response and search and rescue (certified to DEFRA Level 3) trained by the same people who train the RNLI and many fire service teams. Crews also undergo 4x4 driver training RoSPA certified, and regularly undertake joint multi-agency training exercises.

Meet some of the team

 

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