A super computer has shown there is a high chance of more record-breaking winter downpours in the future.

The result is a dire warning that extensive flooding will no longer be the rare event that it once appeared to be.

The research carried out by the Met Office suggests there is now a one in three chance of monthly rainfall records being broken in England and Wales in winter.

The estimate reflects natural variability plus changes in the UK climate as a result of global warming.

According to the BBC, a supercomputer was needed to understand the scale of the increased risk.

Across the winter of 2013-14, a series of storms hit the UK leading to extensive flooding in many parts. The amount of rain that fell in much of southern England and the Midlands was the heaviest in 100 years. Cleaning up from the resulting floods took time and money - the bill for the Thames Valley alone was over £1bn.

Met Office researchers say that there was nothing in the observational record to indicate that such an unprecedented amount of rainfall was possible.

However, by using a climate model that takes the current climate period from 1981-2015 as its base and running it hundreds of times on the Met Office supercomputer researchers were able to find many modelled months with similar or greater rainfall to January 2014.

Their analysis also showed a high risk of record-breaking rainfall in England and Wales in the coming decade.

Dr Vikki Thompson, the study's lead author told BBC News: “Looking at all the regions of England and Wales we found a 34% chance of an extreme event happening in at least one of those regions each year."

Not only is there a greater risk, but the researchers were also able to estimate that these events could break existing records by up to 30%.

Prof Adam Scaife from the Met Office added: "That is an enormous number to have a monthly value that's 30% larger. It's a bit like what we had in 2014 and as much again."

Prof Piers Forster from the University of Leeds said: "Although this year has been particularly dry, generally our winters are getting wetter and the rainfall heavier so we are seeing more flooding and records broken."

Many homes and businesses now have a pack of FloodSax sandless sandbags so they are ready for any flooding emergency. They are space-saving to store but can be transformed into sandbags within minutes simply by adding water. Around two million have now been sold worldwide. A soldier is seen pictured deploying FloodSax.

For more on this story go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-40683302