Met Office: People urged to avoid swollen rivers amid flood warnings, how long will rain last

People are being warned to avoid flooded rivers as heavy rain batters many parts of the UK
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People are being warned to avoid swollen rivers as heavy rain pounds various parts of the UK, prompting flood warnings. The Met Office has forecast heavy rain and strong winds for much of the country on Thursday (December 7) thanks to a low pressure system sweeping the UK, with 23 flood warnings active in England from 6am.

Western parts of the UK are expected to see the heaviest rainfall, with several yellow rain warnings in place for Thursday in the South West and south Wales, the Midlands, parts of Northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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The alerts warn that flooded roads may cut off some communities, driving conditions may become problematic with some road closures expected and there may be delays or cancellations to train and bus services. There is also the chance of potential flooding and the loss of power and other services to some homes and businesses in the affected areas.

Met Office chief forecaster Neil Armstrong said: “After a relatively calm day on Wednesday, wet and windy weather will move in from the west on Wednesday night. Low pressure will drive several days of unsettled conditions with heavy rainfall the main concern. We have issued a number of severe weather warnings for rain across the UK; as much as 80mm of rain could fall in some areas of the west, particularly higher ground. Higher ground in eastern Scotland could even see up to 100mm of rain.

“The rain will be falling on already very wet ground and where there is still lying snow in the northwest of England and parts of Scotland, snow melt will exacerbate the risk of flooding.”

Environment Agency flood duty manager Kate Marks also warned people to keep clear of floodways. She said: “Significant river and surface water flooding impacts are possible in parts of the South West of England on Thursday and Friday, with minor impacts also probable elsewhere in the country. We advise people to stay away from swollen rivers and urge people not to drive through flood water as just 30cm of flowing water is enough to move your car.”

Met Office forecast: How long will the rain last?

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The Met Office said as the area of low pressure moves away to the east, there will be a brief calmer spell in the southern half of the UK as a ridge of higher pressure moves in through Saturday afternoon. Meanwhile, showery rain will continue in the northern half of the country.  

Although there is still some uncertainty at this stage, another area of low pressure could move close to Northern Ireland on Sunday bringing very strong winds and further spells of rain. 

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