It looks like we could be in for a milder winter after a wintry start but it’s not all good news as it’s also predicted to be wet with a risk of flooding.
The Met Office says its long-range outlook suggests there is an above average chance the winter will be wetter than usual between now and next January with the worst of the wet weather due to hit the UK from January onwards.
But first they predict it will be cold up to Christmas.
Speaking to ITV news, Will Lang, head of civil contingencies at the Met Office said the La Nina climate pattern as far away as the Pacific could send more weather systems rolling into the UK from the Atlantic bringing milder and wetter weather. Oh, and expect it to be windy too.
This prediction means there is an above average chance of a milder than normal winter which is in line with warmer winters driven by climate change.
Will said: “Cold weather spells and impacts such as snow do remain possible and these cold weather impacts are more likely during the first half of the period, up until Christmas.
“There is a higher chance overall than normal of wet conditions and also that implies there is a higher likelihood of impacts from rainfall and, indeed, from winds, especially later in the period, January and beyond that.”
The wet weather follows a summer when flooding hit the headlines all too often with large parts of London suffering severe flooding leading to insurance claims for flooding running into many millions of pounds.
The flooding has been so bad many people have been forced out of their homes and businesses and it may be many months still before repairs have been carried out so they can get back in. Statistics show that many businesses which are flooded never reopen.
According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the average claim for a flooded business is £70,000 – that’s seven times higher than the average non flood claim which is around £11,500.
This includes burglaries which is why floods are known as “the thief who takes everything.”
Caroline Douglass, executive director of flooding at the Environment Agency, warns that climate change is happening which can be seen in the ever-increasing frequency and intensity of storms which have broken records for rainfall.
She said: “We can’t prevent all flooding – climate change is only increasing that risk – and today’s figures show that while some people are prepared, many are not.
“It’s vitally important for the public to go online and check if they are at risk, sign up for Environment Agency warnings, and know what to do if flooding hits.”
Flooding is the greatest natural disaster risk in the UK, with an estimated 1 in 6 properties in England and Wales, 1 in 11 properties in Scotland and 1 in 34 properties in Northern Ireland now at risk of flooding. Six of the 10 wettest years on record have occurred since 1998 so climate change can be seen to be having a major impact on this.
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 alternative sandbags for flood protection devised in the UK which are a flexible alternative to traditional sandbags and 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 a few minutes. This makes them ideal for flood prevention, flood protection and flood mitigation.
They are vacuum-packed so are space-saving to store and quick and easy to deploy. In their dry state FloodSax are thin with a large surface area so are ideal to soak up drips, leaks and spills indoors in hard-to-reach places such as beneath boilers, below radiators and underneath pipes.
Almost 3 million have now been sold worldwide.