BBC Weather: Widespread frost as temperatures drop below zero
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Experts have warned the UK is facing a higher chance of a wetter winter over the three months from November to January. These wet conditions are expected to carry on through January and beyond. With the potential risk of flooding, the Environment Agency has urged people to check their flood risk online.
The Agency also told people to sign up for flood warnings and if they are at risk to know what to do if flooding hits their home.
This warning comes as new findings from the agency found three-fifths (61 percent) of households in flood-risk areas did not believe their property could be affected.
While 70 percent of households in at-risk areas had taken some steps to prepare for their home floodings. Only 30 percent had done nothing.
This means around 1.5 million homes across England at risk of flooding are unprepared.
Will Lang, head of civil contingencies at the Met Office, said variability was the defining characteristic of UK waters.
But he warned that looking at the big global drivers which impact weather in the UK showed indications the winter season could see more prevalence of systems coming from the Atlantic.
He said: “Cold weather spells and impacts such as snow do remain possible, and these cold weather impacts are more likely during the first half of the period, up until Christmas.
“There is a higher chance overall than normal of wet conditions, and also that implies that there is a higher likelihood of impacts from rainfall and indeed from winds, especially later in the period, January and beyond that.”
The Environment Agency has said its 250 mobile pumps and 6,000 trained staff are ready to take action to protect communities from flooding.
Throughout the year, construction and repair of flood defences continued.
In October, some 79 households were flooded following a month’s worth of rain in just 24 hours.
However, more than 3,000 properties were protected by flood defences and action taken by the EA.
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But Caroline Douglass, executive director of flooding at the Environment Agency, warned: “Now is the time for us all to be vigilant, not complacent, about flooding.”
She said the EA’s previous investment programme protected 314,000 properties from flooding, defences helped protect nearly 200,000 properties during floods since 2019 and the organisation was investing millions in building new schemes and making repairs to keep communities safe.
Ms Douglass continued: “We can’t prevent all flooding – climate change is only increasing that risk – and today’s figures show that while some people are prepared, many are not.
“It’s vitally important for the public to go online and check if they are at risk, sign up for Environment Agency warnings, and know what to do if flooding hits.”
The AA has also urged drivers to allow plenty of time for journeys during heavy rainfall as roads could become impassable.
Tony Rich, from the AA, added: “Drivers should take extra care where roads dip, for example under bridges, as these areas are more likely to flood.
“Floodwater can be deceptively deep, and it doesn’t take much for water to get sucked into your engine.
“It can also mask other hazards in the road, such as displaced manhole covers, so if in doubt turn around and find another route.”
His warning comes as just 30cm of flowing water is enough to float a car.
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