A dry Christmas looks like being a ‘sucker punch’ for terribly wet weather in January with a real risk of flooding.
UK weather experts have given an early warning that the first two months of 2021 will probably be wetter than normal with torrential downpours on already saturated ground and people urged to think about their flood protection now rather than risk leaving it too late.
The fear is people may well be lulled into a false sense of security as high pressure will mean a dry but cold Christmas for many with the risk of frost and fog right through to the New Year, but the weather will then deteriorate once we get into January.
The Environment Agency’s executive director of operations, John Curtin, is urging people to check if they are at risk of flooding and, if so, prepare for it now.
"Groundwater levels are slightly above normal and there is not much capacity in the soil to take more rain," he said. "We have done a lot of preparedness, a lot of testing to make sure we can still respond this winter under Covid conditions, but it’s really important that people prepare their own flood risk."
Will Lang, head of civil contingencies at the Met Office, added: "Our longer range forecasts for January and February have been consistently suggesting that wetter, windier and milder conditions are more likely than normal so that wet weather will return again."
The UK was hit by severe wet weather last February which flooded 8,000 properties and both the Environment Agency and the Met Office are eager to do all they can to persuade people to take anti-flood measures now to avoid this happening again.
To find your flood risk go to https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/warnings
The trouble is that many people don’t realise that councils in the UK have no responsibility to provide sandbags so people are responsible for protecting their own homes and businesses from flooding.
Some councils recommend FloodSax (www.floodsax.co.uk) alternative sandbag flood barriers for flood protection which are a flexible alternative to traditional sandbags that are space-saving to store and quick and easy to deploy.
When FloodSax come into contact with water they absorb 20 litres which transforms them from being as light as a pillowcase to being more effective than traditional sandbags in just three minutes.
More than 2.5 million have now been sold worldwide.
They would make great practical Christmas gifts so people in areas vulnerable to flooding can be prepared for January and February.
To buy FloodSax go to http://floodsax.co.uk/buy/uk-suppliers/