UK weather: Heavy rain and strong gales expected in 'wettest winter since 1981'

Wet windy weather from the west Atlantic is expected to make its way over

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The Independent Online

This winter could be the wettest for more than 30 years, Met Office research has suggested.

The forecaster's three-month outlook shows heavy rainfall and storms in the west Atlantic Ocean are predicted to move over to the UK via a strong jet stream of 100 metres per second.

The research, which covers today to January, warns that this winter is likely to be the wettest since 1981 after parts of the country were recently soaked by higher than average precipitation.

Adam Scaife, Head of Monthly to Decadal Forecasting, said: "The rainfall over the last few weeks has already been well above average.

“These storms are generated by the jet stream which also carries them eastwards towards us. The jet stream has recently got stronger and moved north, which could carry weather systems from the Atlantic right over the UK.”

There is currently one severe flood warning in Exeter with six flood alerts in Stratford-upon-Avon, Southampton, Winchester, Normans Green, Market Weighton and Surrey after wet weather battered parts of the UK and even caused severe disruptions on the M25.

Hurricane Gonzalo, the strongest from the Atlantic in four years, wreaked havoc in the UK last month and caused three deaths and five serious injuries.

A woman was killed after being hit by a falling tree opposite the Knightsbridge Barracks in central London, a man died in Essex after a van he was repairing was blown off the car jack and fell on him and a 63-year-old died after his car hit a bridge in wet and windy conditions in Merseyside.

 

Five other people were also left with spinal and head injuries from falling trees in London and Brighton.

The research states that this winter being the wettest in 33 years is 25 per cent likely, while the probability has been no higher than 20 per cent for the same time period.

The likelihood that it will be the driest on the 33-year record is 15 per cent, while previous years has had estimations at 20 per cent.

A three-month outlook on climate predicts above-average temperatures during late autumn and early winter, with cold snaps sweeping in from Russia during the later part of the season.

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