The freezing temperatures that gripped the UK in recent days are finally set to rise, offering relief to those who have been shivering in the cold after a sudden end to the mild spell. However, this respite will be short-lived as the country braces itself for another challenge – heavy and prolonged rainfall.
Storm Babet is expected to hit the UK from Wednesday, causing significant and widespread disruption, especially in Scotland, according to the Met Office. The nation experienced an abrupt shift from what was referred to as an “Indian Summer,” marked by warm spells reaching up to 26°C, to subzero temperatures. On Sunday, temperatures plummeted to as low as -4°C in Cumbria, and Scotland’s Lecht Ski Centre even witnessed snow, much earlier than the previous year.
Jonathan Vautre, a meteorologist from the Met Office, noted that temperatures on Sunday and Monday were lower than usual for this time of the year. Although milder weather is anticipated towards the end of the week, the Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for extreme rain, scheduled to last from Thursday to Saturday.
The Met Office officially named the approaching weather system Storm Babet, indicating the potential for disruptive, heavy, and prolonged rainfall. The warning states that there is a chance of extremely heavy rain during this period, leading to flooding and disruption, particularly in central and eastern Scotland. The warning also highlights the possibility of communities being completely cut off, endangering lives, and disrupting essential services. Strong southeasterly winds are expected to accompany the heavy rainfall, potentially worsening the impacts.
The areas most at risk include Angus, Dundee, Perth and Kinross, Stirling, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray, and Highland. Across the UK, a total of 25 alerts have been issued by England’s Environment Agency, with flood warnings already in effect in various regions of England and Wales.
Interestingly, this heavy rainfall is expected to coincide with a temporary end to the UK’s recent cold snap. While the freezing temperatures will give way to milder weather, the relief may be short-lived due to the impending heavy rain and potential flooding. As the nation prepares for Storm Babet, residents are urged to stay informed about weather updates, take necessary precautions, and be prepared for possible disruptions in the coming days.