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UK weather: More than 150 flood alerts as heavy rain to batter Britain

Traffic navigates flooded roads near Kingsweston, Somerset
Traffic navigates flooded roads near Kingsweston, Somerset - APEX

More than 150 flood alerts have been issued across the country as the Met Office warned of heavy rain and ice.

Schools closed across the South West and Cumbria and flooding caused disruption to motorists and rail passengers on Monday.

The Environment Agency has so far issued 56 flood warnings, which mean flooding is ‘expected’ in that area, and 171 flood alerts, which consider flooding ‘possible’.

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for rain in the North East until 9am and a yellow weather warning for ice is in place across parts of northern Scotland until 11am on Tuesday.

Motorists have been warned of “very treacherous icy conditions” going into Monday night, while rail passengers have been urged to plan their journey after a series of train cancellations across the South West.

In Bristol, rail passengers have reportedly been left stranded with no rail replacement bus services as most trains have been cancelled due to flooding.

Simon Williams, an RAC Breakdown spokesman, said northern parts of the country could be facing an “ice rink Monday as snow refreezes overnight”.

Some areas in Dorset such as Yeovilton and Dunkeswell experienced their wettest day on record since June 2020, according to figures from the Met Office.

Dorset’s Beaminster has recorded 86.4mm of rainfall so far today, which is equivalent to 77pc of the rainfall it would expect to see over the whole of an average December.


07:26 PM GMT

That's all for today

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07:17 PM GMT

Rail passengers stranded in Bristol

Following a day of heavy rain and flooding, most services from Bristol’s train stations are delayed or have been cancelled this evening.

Passengers are reporting on X (formerly known as Twitter) that station staff are organising taxi transport to nearby cities, but that queues are growing due to a lack of available taxi operators. There are currently no rail replacement bus services in place.

Cross Country Trains said: “There are limited options as to what passengers can do. We’ve advised passengers to defer travel to tomorrow if possible. If that’s not possible, limited road transport is running between Bristol - Taunton where passengers can change for onward trains South. Alternatively, passengers can pay for their own taxi to Taunton and claim the cost back through our customer relations team.”

Similarly, Great Western Railway have advised passengers to make their own travel arrangements where possible, and to send copies of their travel receipts to their Customer Support team, who will consider the claim.

Find out more about train disruptions across the country here.


07:07 PM GMT

Wettest day since June 2020 for parts of Dorset

Some areas in Dorset have experienced their wettest day on record since June 2020, according to the latest figures from the Met Office.

These areas include Yeovilton, home to Europe’s busiest military Air Station, which has so far recorded 38mm of rainfall on Monday, and the village Dunkeswell, which saw 43mm of rainfall.

The average rainfall for the month of December as a whole in Dorset is 112mm.

Nearby, Beaminster has now recorded 86.4mm of rainfall so far today, which is 77pc of the rainfall it would expect to see in December landing on one day.


06:44 PM GMT

Frosty nights ahead

Although the Met Office forecasts a milder end to the week, there are still some frosty nights to come.

Temperatures will remain cool tonight, ranging from minus two to five across the country.

On Tuesday night, temperatures will drop below zero across parts of the UK, with London expected to reach zero degrees, and parts of Scotland to face minimum temperatures as low as minus four.


06:01 PM GMT

In pictures: Flooding causes chaos across the South West

Aerial view of flooding on the River Brit at Bridport in Dorset, which has burst its banks, flooding Groves Nurseries
A garden centre is flooded after the neighbouring river bursts its banks in Dorset - Graham Hunt
A car drives through deep floodwater on St Swithins Road at Bridport in Dorset
A driver is undeterred by deep floodwater - Graham Hunt
Vehicles drive through deep floodwater on the B3157 coast road at Bridport in Dorset
Vehicles tackle deep floodwater in Bridport, Dorset - Graham Hunt

05:51 PM GMT

Delays and cancellations at London’s major train stations

Paddington 

There are currently a series of delays and cancellations at Paddington station, according to National Rail’s live departures board.

A number of scheduled journeys to Penzance, Plymouth, and Exeter St David’s have been cancelled, while trains to Abbey Wood, Swansea and Bristol Temple Meads are experiencing delays.

This is largely due to flooding in Taunton and between Bristol Parkway and Swindon.

Euston 

There are some cancellations on trains to Wrexham General, Crewe and Birmingham New Street, as well as minor delays on some journeys towards Liverpool Lime Street, Manchester Piccadilly and Glasgow Central.

This is due to a signalling fault between Tamworth and Stafford.

Check National Rail’s website for more updates.

Waterloo

A small number of trains to destinations such as Portsmouth Harbour, Salisbury, Twickenham and Weymouth and Poole have been cancelled.

This is due to flooding between Salisbury and Exeter St David’s, and a bridge being damaged between Brookwood and Woking.

At Victoria there is noted disruption to Great Northern, Southern and Thameslink services sue to a shortage of train crew.

There are currently no major delays at King’s Cross, Liverpool Street or Marylebone station.

Strike action has been announced by the ASLEF Union for c2c and Greater Anglia (including Stansted Express) services tomorrow.

In addition, the ASLEF Union have implemented an overtime ban on many lines until and including Saturday 9 December.


05:01 PM GMT

Algorithm that replaced French weather forecasters predicts heatwave in December

Staff at Météo-France will go on strike this week, claiming ‘absurd mistakes’, such as predicting a heatwave of 28C in freezing Strasbourg this week, are being accelerated by loss of human oversight.

Three unions said they would down tools starting on Monday until Jan 7 because of the increasing reliance on a new forecast system called 3P “that gives pride of place to automation” according to Jérôme Lartisant, the head of the FO union.

Barring major weather warnings, Météo-France forecasts and bulletins are no longer supervised by humans and instead are sent directly to the site by an algorithm.

Read the full story here.


04:26 PM GMT

In pictures: Forecourt in a flood

A police officer wades through flood water at the forecourt of an Esso garage in Bridport, Dorset
Sending out an ESSO-S - GrahamHunt/BNPS
The flooded High Street in Alconbury Weston in Cambridgeshire after Alconbury Brook burst its banks due to heavy overnight rain.
A flooded high street in Alconbury Weston, Cambridgeshire - Ben Bush/Bav Media
The flooded main A358 route to Chard in Somerset at Donyatt in Somerset
Drivers navigate the flooded A358 route in Somerset - Paul Silvers/SWNS

04:03 PM GMT

Flooding causes 'major disruption' to train lines across the country

All train lines in the Taunton area are currently blocked due to flooding. Trains running through the stations may be cancelled, delayed by up to 80 minutes, or diverted. Disruption is expected until the end of the day.

Trains running between Bristol Temple Meads and Taunton via Weston-super-Mare are also disrupted due to flooding.

There are currently fewer trains running between Exeter St Davids and Yeovil Junction due to heavy rain. Train services are likely to be cancelled, delayed, or revised until the end of the day.

Passengers are advised not to travel between Salisbury and Exeter until further notice. Extreme rainfall caused flooding in the Crewkerne area which has caused major disruption for the rest of the day.

Northern services between Lancaster and Carlisle via Barrow-in-Furness have been severely affected by heavy snow and customers are being advised not to travel in the area.

Rail replacement options are in operation on selected routes, and tickets are also being accepted on other rail services. You can find out more on the National Rail website.


03:41 PM GMT

Dorset drenched in 20 times its daily average rainfall for December

Beaminster in Dorset has so far recorded 71mm of rainfall on Monday, according to figures from the Met Office.

The average rainfall for the whole of December in Dorset is 112mm, meaning that Beaminster has recorded 63pc of the rainfall it would expect to see in one month falling in one day.

Elsewhere, Honiton has so far seen 57mm of rain and Somerton has recorded 46mm.

Dan Stroud, meteorologist at the Met Office, noted that while the South West can expect to see conditions improve overnight, areas of the North East should be preparing for around 30mm of rainfall tomorrow with some areas seeing 60mm to 70mm locally.

Mr Stroud said: “Allow extra time to travel, check to see if your area is subject to flooding and do not enter any flood water.”


03:30 PM GMT

Conditions worsening in Somerset

Residents in Somerset are reporting worsening conditions as rain continues to fall across the UK.

On X (formerly known as Twitter), author Milli Hill said: “We get plenty of water and floods here on the Levels but this is like nothing I’ve ever seen?

“My whole village cut off. Deep deep water everywhere in the village. Most houses ok so far but many of the roads completely submerged. Extreme and unprecedented.”


03:07 PM GMT

An unsettled week ahead

The Met Office has released the forecast for the week ahead.

It predicts that milder air will gradually spread across the United Kingdom as the week progresses.

As a result, temperatures should rise steadily towards the end of the week, with some areas in the east likely to experience double figures by the weekend.


02:45 PM GMT

Schools close in the South of England

So far, 24 schools in Somerset, five in Devon, and seven in Dorset have confirmed they have closed or will close early due to bad weather.

It comes as areas of southern England face flooding due to heavy rain. A Met Office yellow warning for rain is in place until 6pm this evening.

The complete list of school closures in Somerset can be found here, Devon school closures can be found here, and Dorset school closures can be found here.


02:29 PM GMT

River Cam rises as heavy rain in Somerset continues

Somerset has experienced heavy rainfall since Sunday evening, which is set to continue throughout the day and into Monday evening.

The River Cam, which flows through the south of the county, has risen rapidly over the day.

Some areas of the county have flooded, and the Met Office’s yellow warning for rain remains in place until 6pm.


02:08 PM GMT

Power cuts affect thousands of homes in the North of England

Thousands of homes in the North East have been experiencing power outages, according to Northern Powergrid.

An issue with cables has left 943 customers without power across two postcodes (HU10 and HU11) in Hull, as well as 541 homes in NE11.

Further outages have been reported across Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Sunderland, Leeds, Middlesbrough and York.

To check for updates on services or report your power cut online visit Northern Powergrid’s interactive map.

It comes after 800 customers in the North West remain without power after heavy snow damaged miles of overhead lines.


01:20 PM GMT

What to do when the road is flooded

The Met Office have released tips for drivers on what to do if they encounter a flood:

Turn around and find another route. The number one cause of death during flooding is driving through flood water, so the safest advice is turn around.

Although the water may seem shallow, just 12 inches of moving water can float your car, potentially taking it to deeper water from which you may need rescuing.

Flood water also contains hidden hazards which can damage your car, and just an egg-cupful of water sucked into your car’s engine will lead to severe damage.

Never drive through flood water. Turn around.


01:04 PM GMT

Flooding submerges railway lines in the South West

Flooding has led to the partial closure of the West of England line, with passengers being urged not to travel between Salisbury and Exeter until at least 8pm.

South Western Railway said heavy rainfall has caused flooding in the Crewkerne area and has blocked the line.

The line between Axminster and Yeovil Junction is also flooded with rail replacement buses in operation, though this emergency service may also be subject to cancellations due to flooding.


12:42 PM GMT

Flood warnings issued across the country

The Environment Agency has so far issued 37 flood warnings and more than 120 flood alerts, as heavy rain is causing river levels to rise.

Local flooding is probable from rivers and surface water across parts of the South of England and Midlands today (Monday), and across parts of the North East, and Yorkshire and the Humber today and Tuesday.

Environment Agency SW said: “Flash flooding can happen very quickly and can take you by surprise. This kind of surface water happens when there is very heavy rainfall.”

In a safety video published to X, the agency urged the public to “prepare” by keeping an eye on Met Office weather warnings and local authority guidance, and “act” by turning off gas, water and electricity, moving valuables to safety and not driving through floodwater.

Check for flooding where you live/work by visiting the Environment Agency online flooding information map.


12:15 PM GMT

The week ahead

There will be sunny periods across the United Kingdom on Tuesday, yet winter showers will linger in parts of England, Wales, and eastern Scotland.

After frost and fog clears for bright spells on Wednesday, wet and windy weather is expected to arrive from the south west, pushing north and east into Thursday and Friday.


12:09 PM GMT

Many schools remain closed and properties without power in Cumbria

On Monday morning more than 830 properties in Cumbria, primarily in South Lakeland, were still without power following heavy snow in the county over the weekend, according to Electricity North West.

Cumberland Council said nearly 40 schools would remain closed on Monday due to the conditions, in areas including Ambleside, Kendal, Ulverston and Barrow-in-Furness.

Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said the risk of snow was now lessening and would “more or less be confined to Scottish mountains” by the end of the week.

He said: “Temperatures are rising from below average now to above average. Overnight (on Monday), in parts of the north, frost remains still a risk. Tomorrow could see frost from Scotland down into central southern England. In general, conditions will be more wet and windy.”


12:08 PM GMT

Met Office Forecast

Yellow weather warnings for rain remain in place across southern and northern England, and across parts of Wales. Heavy rain is likely to cause some flooding and disruption to travel.

In Scotland, yellow warnings for ice are in place, with disruption to travel expected.


12:00 PM GMT

In pictures: Drivers battle rain and ice after weekend of snow

Cars drive in the snow near Crathie, Aberdeen
Snowy roads in Crathie, Aberdeen - Michael Traill
Vehicles driving through service water on a flooded part of the A37 near Bristol
Floodwater disrupts drivers on the A37 near Bristol - Ben Birchall/PA Wire

11:46 AM GMT

Two 'homeless' men found dead after weekend of freezing temperatures

Police were called to Bloom Street in Manchester city centre over concerns about the welfare of a man. He was found in a shop doorway on Sunday 3 December and declared dead at the scene.

In a statement, Greater Manchester Police said: “This investigation is in its very early stages and the cause of death is yet to be ascertained.

“Enquires are ongoing. Police are not treating the death of the man as suspicious nor is there believed to be any at third-party involvement. A report will be made for the coroner.”

A man in Nottingham is believed to have frozen to death in his car as he sheltered from subzero temperatures. He was found inside a black Renault in Beeston, Nottinghamshire, on Friday 1 December.


11:32 AM GMT

Yellow weather warning extended

A yellow weather warning for rain has been extended to include more of Devon and West Somerset.

The warning is in place until 6pm today and covers parts of southern England and Wales.


11:31 AM GMT

Motorists warned of 'very treacherous icy conditions' after weekend of snow

Simon Williams, an RAC breakdown spokesman, said northern parts of the country could be facing an “ice rink Monday as snow refreezes overnight”.

A yellow weather warning for ice by the Met Office is in place across much of the north of England until noon today.

The RAC expects an increase in collisions and flat batteries, and urges drivers to “exercise great caution”.

The Met Office has also issued a yellow warning for heavy rain creating disruption to travel across parts of southern England, south east Wales, and into the Midlands which will last until 6pm.

Read the full story here.

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