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UK braces for flooding rain and howling wind from system that spawned the deadly eastern US blizzard

By By Courtney Spamer, Meteorologist
January 28, 2016, 8:42:24 AM EST

The same storm that brought up to a meter of snow to the United States over the weekend will cross the United Kingdom on Tuesday, bringing with it flooding rain and damaging winds.

Blizzard conditions spread across the mid-Atlantic U.S. on Saturday, bringing record-breaking snowfall and coastal flooding with water levels higher than Hurricane Sandy.

After the storm crosses the Atlantic Ocean, the center of the storm will cross over northern Scotland, with rain extending over the British Isles into Tuesday afternoon.


The heaviest rain will fall across western and central Scotland, far western Northern Ireland and along western England and Wales.

"A total of 25 to 50 mm (1 to 2 inches) of rain will fall in these areas," AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys said. "Locally higher amounts to 75 mm (3 inches) are possible, which leads to the concerns about flooding across the region."

As of 25 January, Manchester, England, has seen over 144 mm (5.68 inches) of rain, well over the monthly January rainfall average of 84 mm (3.30 inches).

In the same time frame, Cardiff, Wales, has seen over 250 mm (10 inches) of rain, more than twice the January average of 91 mm (3.58 inches).

"Western England and Wales have already been deluged with rain for the start of winter, so any additional heavy rain could cause flooding issues across the region," Roys said.

As of 11:30 GMT on Tuesday, the Environment Agency had already issued 7 Flood Warnings and 83 Flood Alerts for Wales and England.

Strong winds will funnel water onto beaches and raise concerns about coastal flooding from South West England and Wales to North West England and western Scotland.

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Detailed forecast for London

Wind gusts up to 80 km/h (50 mph) are possible on Tuesday as the storm crosses the Isles. However, coastal regions will likely see the highest wind gusts, generally between 80 and 120 km/h (50 and 75 mph). Unlike a blizzard, these winds are only expected to last for a short period of time.

Winds along the coasts could be strong enough to cause sporadic power cuts and tree damage.

London and parts of South East England will miss the major impacts of this storm. In addition to lower wind gusts, it is anticipated that showers will also be lighter when they reach the region Tuesday afternoon.

Steadier rain across South East England is expected for Wednesday, when a second wave of rain moves into the British Isles. This system will also likely bring air cool enough for snow across the Scottish Highlands on Wednesday.

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