Expect an increase of short, sharp storms with climate change

Severe floods have affected many parts of the UK over the past week, with more storms in store according to new forecasts from the Met Office.

Short, sharp storms are likely to become more frequent as the climate changes

Short, sharp storms are likely to become more frequent as the climate changes

Around the country, over 750 properties have suffered extreme damage from flooding from both water crosses and surface waters.

With some areas receiving more than a month's rainfall in just 24 hours, fatalities include a young soldier who died during a 'routine exercise' on the north Yorkshire moors when he fell into a stream swollen by heavy rainfalls.

The storms have also resulted in a large number of people who have been evacuated from their homes, with the cost of fixing all of the damage likely to run into millions of pounds.

But can the recent weather be attributed to climate change?

"It's too early to say that, but we do know that with climate change, we're going to see the likelihood of flooding increase," said Lisa Beechey, an Environment Agency spokesperson told edie.

"We will be more vulnerable to intense rain although we can't say if the recent rainfalls are a direct result of climate change."

According to latest published forecast on the Met Office website, flash warning of severe weather are expected today in South West England, London and South East England, predicting "the risk of as much as 40mm in places, with localised flooding and disruption possible, particularly where ground is still saturated following recent heavy rain."

"It's not unusual to get summer storms," said the Met Office spokesperson Sancha Lancaster to edie.

"This isn't freak weather, but we do have a consistent area of low pressure."

With more storms in store over the coming days, the low pressure is moving from northern England to the south.

"[Over time] what we'll expect to see if more of the short, sharp storms that are extreme with lightning and thunder. Under climate change predictions, the heavy summer rain is something we're going to continue seeing," said Ms Lancaster.

"It comes down to an increase in carbon emissions. Even if we went down to zero emissions from now onwards, it would take at least 100 years to improve the current climate conditions."

Dana Gornitzki



Click a keyword to see more stories on that topic, view related news, or find more related items.


You need to be logged in to make a comment. Don't have an account? Set one up right now in seconds!

© Faversham House Ltd 2007. edie news articles may be copied or forwarded for individual use only. No other reproduction or distribution is permitted without prior written consent.