Storm Frank returns flooding rain, strong winds to north and west of UK
By By Kristina Pydynowski, senior meteorologist
December 31, 2015, 9:17:14 AM EST
Storm Frank caused another round of strong winds and flooding rain across the United Kingdom.
Rainfall generally averaged 25-50 mm (1-2 inches) across Northern Ireland, Scotland and the north of England through midday with some showers continuing into Wednesday night.
With rivers running high and the ground extremely saturated from western Scotland to Wales, the continuing rainfall will worsen flooding problems. This includes around hard-hit Cumbria and Yorkshire.
Residents should prepare for possible evacuations and are reminded to never drive across a flooded road to avoid a potentially deadly situation.
The flood risk will exist even after Storm Frank passes and floodwaters drain downstream.
December has already been a record-breaking month for rainfall in parts of the U.K., meaning any significant rain will quickly trigger more flooding. The Environment Agency reported that there were nine severe flood warnings in effect across the north of England.
In addition to the rain, wind gusts were in excess of 50 mph (80 km/h) have been common outside of the southeast of England.
Wind gusts over 65 mph (105 km/h) were reported in Shetland, Scotland. The Isles of Scilly have reported a peak wind gust of 75 mph (120 km/h).
The combination of flooding and downed trees resulted in widespread travel disruptions across the United Kingdom.
The strong winds also caused at least 2,000 homes to lose power in Northern Ireland during the height of the storm.
Multiple flights were delayed in Belfast due the strong winds and two flights had to be diverted following several hours of wind gusts in excess of 50 mph (80 km/h).
After bouts of heavy rain, trees can easily be loosened from saturated soil and knocked down by strong winds.
Strong winds associated with Storm Frank also lead to dangerously rough seas on the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea.
The city and the rest of South East England will be dry and mild until rain arrives on Wednesday afternoon and evening.
The showers may still be dampening Scotland, as well as eastern and northern England for New Year’s Eve festivities on Thursday evening. Most of Wales, South West England, West Midlands and Northern Ireland will dry out.
Looking ahead, another storm will target the U.K. at the start of the new year later on Friday into Saturday. A new round of strong winds and rain will accompany this storm, but mainly across western areas as the storm will weaken as it crosses the Isles.
The stormy weather pattern will persist well into next week.
Content contributed by Meteorologist Eric Leister.
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