Wet, Stormy Pattern Threatens Flooding in UK and Ireland

By Dan DePodwin, Meteorologist
January 3, 2014; 9:19 PM ET
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With a persistent wet and stormy pattern, flooding problems are likely in parts of storm-weary UK and Ireland and into western Europe next week.

A storm emerging from the Atlantic Friday will spread rain across the United Kingdom and into western Europe.

West-facing coasts are expected to feel the brunt of the wet weather with lesser amounts farther east, including cities such as Dublin and London.

As the Friday storm departs, showery weather will prevail into the first half of the weekend before another surge of moisture brings steadier rain Sunday.

By the early part of next week, a total of 5 to 8 cm (2 to 3 inches) of rain is expected along the west coasts of Ireland, Scotland and England as well as all Wales.

Flood waters pour into a residential street after the River Wansbeck broke its banks in Morpeth, England, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012, as communities work to rescue stranded residents from their homes, after heavy rain caused flash floods across parts of the UK. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)

The United Kingdom is not the only place bracing for flooding. Periods of rain are expected from northern Portugal to Spain and southern France through Saturday, then continuing into Switzerland and northern Italy for Sunday.

In the higher elevations of Spain could even get a few inches of snow Saturday as some colder air dips down.

The combination of an unusually wet December in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and more rain over the next several days will cause flooding in parts of the region. A very saturated ground will not be able to receive much more additional rain.

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A seemingly unending train of storms has brought soaking rain to much of the region over the past month as well as high winds. Since Dec. 1, many locations have be soaked by rainfall that has been 150-200% of normal.

Many places in western Ireland have picked up close to 25 cm of rain since the start of December with 5-15 cm of rain in southern England. One of the wettest locations has been Bournemouth, where 28.5 cm (11.25 inches) of rain fell in December, 22 cm (9 inches) above average.

More rounds of showers and gusty winds are expected through at least the first half of January.

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