Doing the Lambeth walk. Pedestrians crossing the Lambeth Bridge in the rain in front of the Houses of Parliament. [AFP]
The first major storm of the season is now in the process of feeding heavy rain across parts of northwest Europe. As wet and windy weather sweeps in from the Atlantic, many parts of the UK have been put on flood alert. Damaging winds are also likely to cause widespread disruption.
The source of the severe weather is a deep area of low pressure just off the Brest Peninsula. This is being fed a steady stream of warm moist air by ex-hurricane Nadine.
As a result, the Environment Agency has put out a number of flood alerts and many more are likely over the next 24 to 36 hours. As much as 50 to 60mm of rain is expected to fall across many parts of the British Isles and winds are likely to touch 100 kph at times.
Exposed coasts could see damaging winds gusting as high as 120 kph at times, and the general public has been advised to expect travel delays as the rough conditions set in.
The heavy rain began affecting southern England overnight Sunday into Monday and by Monday morning, there were already reports of flash flooding in Somerset. Several of the county’s roads were left impassable due to the downpours, and more rain is expected right across the UK.
Similarly, Devon has also suffered some flooding. Exeter recorded 63mm of rain in the 24 hours up to 0600 GMT on Monday. The average rainfall for the whole of September is 57mm.
This change to stormy conditions comes after what has been a pleasant spell of weather for much of the month. Just a couple of weeks ago, many areas were basking in warm sunshine as the thermometer reached the mid to high 20s Celsius. I think we can safely say that autumn has now arrived.