Two months of rain in just one day

July 21, 2007 at 1:36 am | Posted in England, Extreme weather, Flooding, Floods, Guardian, Met Office, Rain, Severe weather, Storms, Thames, Weather, Windsor | 1 Comment

Steve Randall, a forecaster for the Met Office, said: “I’ve never seen anything like it, and I’ve been in the Met Office for 34 years. It’s an extraordinary amount, more like you would expect in a tropical rainforest.”

Not long ago, the North of England had one month’s worth of rain in a day, and now the South of England has had a double whammee!

Sixty years ago our street in Windsor was flooded, and here we go again, after flood defences have been built. However, I think the flood defences, in the form of the manmade Jubilee River, are to stop the River Thames from flooding us, i.e. to divert or block the river waters as they approach horizontally. Unfortunately, our recent downpours have been extremely vertical in nature—more like tropical storms: brief, fast and furious! So, our local problem is due to fully saturated ground being overdosed with too much additional rain, all at once. Water that lands from the sky has no time nor space in which to drain down, so flows horizontally instead. In other words, the source of floods we have prepared for is not the source of floods we are getting😉

Two months of rain in just one day is in today’s Guardian.

School break begins with 85mm of rain in one extraordinary day is in today’s Independent.

We can expect more of the same.

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  1. Yesterday afternoon it took me two and a half hours to drive from Hereford to Worcester, via the only available route at the time, the M50 and M5. It’s the first time I’ve seen a motorway turned into a river (the M50 was closed about an hour after I drove through). I’ve put a couple of pics of the M50 situation in my blog.

    When I got home, there was no power. A major electrical substation had been flooded, cutting off power to 13,000 homes. It was restored just after 8pm. Today the city centre road bridge across the Severn is closed. The last time that happened was in the November 2000 floods. The bridge was previously closed during the 1947 floods. The Severn is expected to peak at a flood level of 5.2 metres sometime tomorrow.

    And yes, I suspect these “once in a hundred years” floods will be a darned sight more frequent in the future.

    Phil


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