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Flood Fears: Storm To Bring 100mph Winds

 

Winds of up to 100mph are forecast to hit some exposed areas of the coast today as the stormy weather reaches a ferocious new high. Parts of northwest Wales and northern England are expected to see the strongest winds, with gusts of 80mph in the South West. The Met Office has warned that the high winds could fell trees, cause further transport delays and possible power cuts. A further month's worth of rain is also forecast in some areas by Friday night.

 

David Cameron is leading another meeting of the Government's Cobra emergency this morning as flood-hit regions in Somerset and the Thames Valley brace for more wild weather. The Met Office has also issued yellow warnings for snow, rain and wind across other parts of Britain. Sky News weather presenter Isobel Lang said: "Winds will pick up dramatically this afternoon around the Irish Sea, west Wales and northwest England. "Disruption across the Pennines later is more likely to be from the tricky mix of strong winds and heavy snowfall."

 

Fourteen severe flood warnings are still in place for the South East, all of them covering areas close to the River Thames. Two further severe warnings cover areas of the South West, both in Somerset. The Environment Agency has issued a further 353 flood warnings and alerts across the rest of England. Groundwater flooding is also expected in the next few days in Hampshire, Kent and parts of London.

 

Around 1,000 homes have been reported as flooded over the past week, including 800 along the Thames. Some 600 troops have now been deployed to help protect properties against floods. A further 1,000 troops remain on stand-by. The Prime Minister has said "thousands more" troops are available for tasks like filling and moving sandbags, getting medical assistance to the sick and helping vulnerable people.

 

Since the downpours began at the beginning of December, a total of 5,800 properties have been flooded. The EA says that 1.3 million homes have been protected from damage by flood defences. Thames Valley Police has declared a "major incident" in parts of Berkshire, where hundreds of properties have already been flooded. There are fears that up to 4,000 more properties could be inundated with water as more severe weather strikes later this week.

 

Forecasters say 70mm or rain could fall by Friday night in the West Country, south Wales, western Scotland and Northern Ireland. Southern and western areas are expected to get 20-40mm. Speaking at a press conference in Downing Street on Tuesday, Mr Cameron said: "Nothing is more important than dealing with these floods. Money is no object in this relief effort. "Whatever money is needed for it, it will be spent. We will take whatever steps are necessary.

 

"There is absolutely no sign of this threat abating, and with further rain and strong winds forecast throughout the week, things may get worse before they get better." Mr Cameron was due to travel to Israel to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, but has cancelled the trip. He also announced a new Cabinet committee will be set up to oversee the flooding recovery and a tax deferral scheme would help businesses hit by flooding. Up to £10m in new funding will be found to support farmers and grants for homeowners and businesses will be made available to improve flood defences.

 

http://news.sky.com/story/1210213/flood-fears-storm-to-bring-100mph-winds

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UK floods: More flooding fears as storms forecast

 

Parts of the UK are again facing flooding as forecasters warn a further band of stormy weather later could mean the "strongest" winds of the winter. Winds of up to 100 mph are expected around the coast of Wales. Fourteen severe flood warnings are in place in Berkshire and Surrey while two remain in Somerset. The transport secretary said the PM's pledge that money was "no object" in the relief effort did not amount to a "blank cheque" for tackling floods.

 

Troops pledged

 

The Met Office has issued an amber "be prepared" warning of wind on Wednesday as well as yellow "be aware" snow, wind and rain warnings. The warning for snow covers northern and western parts of the UK - but not the South West - mostly until mid-morning Wednesday.  Managing director of network operations at Network Rail, Robin Gisby, said it was going to be "another difficult day for commuters", and he described the landscape across southern England and the South West as an "inland sea". He said the high winds forecast meant that trains would be running at reduced speeds in Cornwall, Devon, parts of Wales, and in the Preston area of Lancashire.

 

And Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin told the BBC said there were "very big problems for us to face". He said that in the next five years starting in April £38bn would be spent on improving the rail network. "We will make sure that when we do the repairs, we do them to a resilience that will last for future storms that come along," he said.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26148379

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PM warns of flood CHAOS as superstorm of 120mph gales and TORRENTIAL rain approaches

 

HUGE swathes of the country face hurricane-force gusts of 120mph today while torrential rain spells more flood misery for thousands. Storm Darwin is loaded with a ­powerful “sting jet†similar to one that drove the devastating Great Storm of October 1987. It hits as experts said the flood crisis is likely to drag on for months with groundwater levels at their highest for 13 years. Yesterday David Cameron warned “things may get worse before they get better†and revealed he has ­cancelled a trip to Israel next week to deal with the crisis. The Prime Minister said: “Nothing is more important than dealing with these floods.

 

“There is absolutely no sign of this threat abating. It will be a long haul and it will require a stepped-up national effort with the whole country pulling together. “One of the most inspiring things I have seen over the past two days has been the incredible spirit of volunteers in our communities. “Amidst all of this as is so often the case, in the toughest of times we are seeing the best of Britain. It will take time but together we will deal with these floods, we will get our country back on its feet and we will build a more resilient country for the future.â€

 

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/459302/PM-warns-of-flood-chaos-as-superstorm-of-90mph-gales-and-heavy-rain-approaches

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Ice Storm Knocks Out Power Across Deep South

 

http://news.sky.com/story/1210763/ice-storm-knocks-out-power-across-deep-south

 

Trains Running Again After Storm 'Disaster'

 

Train services are slowly getting back to normal after fierce winds turned many journeys into a nightmare on Wednesday night. Some passengers travelling to and from the storm-hit North West were stranded for up to eight hours on Wednesday evening. Virgin Trains urged customers to "abandon travel" and tweeted that "multiple trees" had fallen on overhead lines. One angry passenger, Peter Price, stranded for hours near Crewe, recorded his thoughts during his travel nightmare. "We left London eight hours ago - sadly on the train - there has been absolute bedlam without any shadow of a doubt," said a frustrated Mr Price.

 

"We've just left the train after eight hours because we've been told the diesel that came to push us has broken down." Another passenger told Sky News: "It was a catalogue of disasters really. There were two fires - one at Rugby, one at Crewe. A train hit a tree, there were other trees on the line. "There was a lightning strike that took out some signals. There were engineering works, and we had to run at 50mph because of the strong winds."

 

East Coast trains were also badly affected by the ferocious winds, with trees down on the line and the company tweeting about "large disruptions" and "overhead line issues". Passenger Michael Stowe also recorded his experiences as he sat stranded and covered in a silver foil blanket. He said: "(I've) been waiting about four and a half hours now outside of Darlington. The winds brought down overhead cables and that's obviously left the train stranded." Antonia Goddard, also on the train, told Sky News she had been waiting hours to be rescued. "We were told there was no power for the train. We've been on emergency lights and there's no heating," said Ms Goddard.

 

The travel picture is much improved on Thursday morning but some problems remain in the north of England, said Sky News' Joe Tidy at London King's Cross station. Commuters are being urged to delay travel until at least 10am if possible and check the latest information with their rail company and National Rail's Twitter account. Virgin said: "Services across the network are expected to run but please expect heavy delays and diversions on all routes." Other lines still affected include Liverpool Lime Street to Crewe, where services will not begin until about 10am; Preston to Lancaster - where a tree is blocking the line; and Leeds to Wakefield Westgate and Doncaster, which is running with minor delays.

 

http://news.sky.com/story/1210943/trains-running-again-after-storm-disaster

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Britain On Alert For More Stormy Weather

 

Britain has been put on alert for gale force winds set to strike the country later - with the River Thames predicted to rise to its highest level in more than 60 years. The Met Office warnings follow the death of an elderly man who was killed as winds rose to more than 100mph across the UK. The man, in his 70s, was trying to move a tree near Chippenham, in Wiltshire, which had brought down power cables. Gusts of up to 108mph hit Aberdaron on the Lyn Peninsula in Wales over the past 24 hours, while winds of 96mph were recorded off the south coast of England.

 

Two further severe flood warnings are in place for the Somerset Levels. There are around 400 flood warnings and alerts in place for the rest of the UK, meaning people in the affected areas are urged to take immediate action or to be prepared. Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to cut short his duties at an international conference to focus on the response to the flooding. He had been due to speak at the a conference in London on the illegal wildlife trade, alongside the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge.

 

The new Cabinet committee on flood recovery is also expected to meet, replacing a scheduled meeting of the full Cabinet. Another storm is due to strike Britain on Friday, bringing the risk of further flooding to regions that have struggled with heavy rainfall and been under water since December. The inclement weather has caused travel chaos, with Virgin Trains advising customers that "some services" will be affected this morning due to disruption. On the North Yorkshire moors, an East Coast train was held up for several hours on Wednesday due to a power cut. Passenger Antonia Goddard told Sky News: "We've been stuck here for a few hours now waiting for rescue.

 

http://news.sky.com/story/1210822/britain-on-alert-for-more-stormy-weather

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US Ice Storm 'Could Destroy Quarter Of Trees'

 

A deadly winter storm that is dumping "mind-boggling, if not historical" amounts of ice on parts of the United States is threatening to unleash further chaos as it heads north. More than an inch of ice is expected in Atlanta, Georgia, prompting one forecaster to warn the so-called "city in a forest" could lose up to a quarter of trees. The ferocious weather, described as "catastrophic, crippling and paralysing" by the National Weather Service, could bring more than 30cm of snow as it barrels into the mid-Atlantic and Northeast, with 100 million people in its path. At least 11 people have died so far, including three who were killed when an ambulance slid off an icy road and burst into flames.

 

Normally bustling airports were forced to cancel more than half of flights, and there were massive traffic jams in North Carolina as roads became impassable. In Atlanta, up to 2.5cm (1in) of ice - thicker than most hockey rinks - was expected to form on trees and power lines. According to the University of Illinois, accumulations of just 1.27cm (0.5in) are enough to cause large branches to break. Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist at Slate, said: "You have a recipe for disaster, with 100-year-old oaks and hickories snapping like matchsticks.

 

"This storm could have lingering impacts across the region for years, if not decades." Atlanta was caught unprepared by its last winter storm on January 28, when children were stranded all night in schools and countless drivers abandoned their cars after getting stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. The city's streets and highways were largely deserted this time, as local people took the advice of officials and stayed indoors. States of emergency have been declared in Georgia and South Carolina, while in Washington D.C., where more than 20cm (8in) of snow is expected, federal offices have been closed for the day. Churches and recreation centres have been turned into shelters for those without heating, while the Federal Emergency Management Agency is poised to provide help to towns and cities in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.

 

http://news.sky.com/story/1211079/us-ice-storm-could-destroy-quarter-of-trees

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East Coast trains pass the North York Moors some 5-6 miles to the West, so this is a bit inaccurate. I know one of my associates was still stuck at York after midnight, trying to get back to Durham.

Should have gone to the boozer....

 

BFTP

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East Coast trains pass the North York Moors some 5-6 miles to the West, so this is a bit inaccurate. I know one of my associates was still stuck at York after midnight, trying to get back to Durham.

 

From what I gather the power line came down in the Northallerton area (north bound) as a result some trains were stranded at Darlington with only emergency lights working

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Weather: UK Braced For 'Multi-Pronged Storm'

 

Communities across Britain are facing a battering of heavy winds, rain and even snow as storms wreak havoc on Valentine's Day. Forecasters warn that the appalling conditions which have ravaged parts of southern England show no signs of abating, with heavy rain predicted for Friday and Saturday. The Met Office has warned wind, rain and snow is expected to strike in a "multi-pronged attack". Up to 40mm (1.6 inches) of rain is set to fall in just six hours, while gusts of up to 80mph hit parts of the country. The Environment Agency (EA) has issued 17 severe flood warnings - which mean a risk to life - in place in the Thames Valley and Somerset, as well as 131 flood warnings in England and Wales.

 

More rain could cause rivers to burst their banks again as well as triggering surface water problems. Coastal areas could be at risk as blustery conditions bring the potential for large waves. Toby Willison, EA programme director, said: "I expect we will see hundreds of properties looking to flood." Some 16,211 UK homes remain without power, as well as 75,000 in Ireland, after gusts of more than 100mph battered parts of the British Isles during "Wild Wednesday" storms. An elderly man was killed and hundreds stranded as transport networks were hit. In the highlands of Wales, northern England, Northern Ireland and Scotland, the rain could turn to snow, with up to 20cm (8 inches) falling above 1,300ft (400m).

 

Windsor, Maidenhead and other communities along the Thames remain at high risk of flooding. Flooding also continues on the Somerset Levels and Moors and there is still a high risk of coastal floods in Dorset. EA chief executive Paul Leinster said: "We expect to see river levels rising again with more rain forecast for Friday and Saturday." The EA has told residents living near the River Severn to "take action now" as it is predicted to flood. A water level peak of 15ft (4.7m) was expected overnight in Alney Island, near Gloucester.

 

http://news.sky.com/story/1211406/weather-uk-braced-for-multi-pronged-storm

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More chaos looms as a fresh storm swoops in

 

BRITAIN will be plunged back into storm misery today as another violent Atlantic weather system tears in. Swathes of the country face a mauling by 90mph gales and torrential rain. The deep low pressure system was last night hurtling towards the UK, and is expected to hit this ­morning. Experts warned the storm, which threatens to rage through to tomorrow, is capable of causing widespread destruction. The warning came as anger grows over news that some councils are charging residents for sandbags in areas hit by flooding. Christchurch Borough Council, in Dorset, was accused of asking locals to pay £30 for a “flood pack†of four standard sandbags to protect doorways. South Somerset District Council’s website yesterday said its provision of sandbags incurs a charge. Last night Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis said: “There is no reason whatsoever for any council anywhere to charge anybody for sandbags. “If sandbags are appropriate and they can be used for local residents, they should be doing so. “We have spoken to every local authority in the country and are confident that there are more than enough supplies to meet local needs, with volunteers and military support on the ground to make them ready.â€

 

http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/459694/More-chaos-looms-as-a-fresh-storm-swoops-in

 

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UK floods: Fresh storm brings more rain and strong winds

 

Stormy weather is returning to the UK as engineers try to reconnect more than 16,000 properties still without electricity after Wednesday's gales. Heavy rain is hitting south-west England, with strong winds in the Isles of Scilly and snow on higher ground. Seventeen severe flood warnings remain in place in parts of Gloucestershire, Somerset, Berkshire and Surrey. Prime Minister David Cameron said the government would "fight at every front to help people" hit by floods. He told BBC Breakfast that money would be no object in the "massive national effort", saying:

 

"I want people to know that the government absolutely stands behind this relief effort." He said he wanted people, businesses and local councils to know that the government would fund the effort, including the cost of sandbags and military deployment. Asked about planned job cuts at the Environment Agency, he said nothing would be done to hamper flood relief efforts. Mr Cameron added that lessons had been learned from past flooding, but said: "There is always more we can do and we will do it."

 

Sandbags available

 

Forecasters say south-west England and parts of south Wales could see up to 40 mm of rainfall in six to nine hours during Friday. Snow has been falling on Dartmoor and Exmoor and a BBC correspondent in Plymouth said big waves were crashing into the shoreline. The Environment Agency said the level of the River Thames was expected to rise again during the day, endangering property in Berkshire and Surrey. The Agency's flood risk manager, Alison Baptiste, urged people to do all they could to protect themselves and their homes. She said 30,000 sandbags were being made available across the area. The Met Office has issued yellow and amber warnings for rain, wind and snow.

 

BBC Weather's Darren Bett said the severe weather was "hopefully the last in a long line" to hit the UK. Another area of low pressure from the Atlantic is arriving, initially bringing rain to the south-west before snow reaches higher ground in Wales, northern England and Northern Ireland, he added. He said winds would strengthen through the day - especially along the south coast, with gusts reaching up to 80mph. Very high winds are forecast for Friday evening and Saturday morning, as is rain, while Sunday should be mostly dry. Next week's weather is not expected to be as wet or windy as in recent days.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26183403

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New Winter Storm Brings Misery To US North East

 

A winter storm has dumped snow and ice on many states, leaving at least 21 people dead, cancelling thousands of flights and disrupting deliveries on Valentine's Day. Among the victim was a pregnant woman struck by a snow plough in New York. Her baby was later delivered and was in a critical condition. As the storm moved from the South through the Northeast, the mix of snow and sleet grounded more than 6,500 flights nationwide and closed schools, businesses and government offices. About 1.2 million utility customers have lost power. The treacherous weather was blamed for nearly two dozen deaths, many of them in motor vehicle accidents. Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington were all badly affected.

 

In New York, residents braced for up to 14 inches (35cm) of snow expected through Friday - a lot to take even for people used to tricky weather. Already late to the office, Brain Fesen said: "It's taken a long time to get to work, to walk on the streets. "People are ploughing, it's just a rough day to get to the office." Mayor Bill de Blasio faced criticism for his decision to keep schools open. In the South, roads remained clogged and travel disrupted. About 1,000 people spent the night on cots and mats at Charlotte airport in North Carolina.

 

Across the state in Durham, motorists stuck in traffic that resembled the gridlock mess in Atlanta two weeks ago found refuge for the night at a mall. Around the country, this is shaping up as one of the snowiest winters on record. As of early this month, Washington, Detroit, Boston, Chicago, New York and St Louis had received up to three times as much snow as normal at this point in the season. The storms and cold blasts are blamed in part on a kink in the jet stream, the high-altitude air currents that dictate weather.

 

http://news.sky.com/story/1211544/new-winter-storm-brings-misery-to-us-north-east

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Glimmer of hope worst may be over

 

More heavy rain and gale-force winds are sweeping across southern Britain as engineers try to reconnect more than 16,000 properties still without power. South-west England has seen torrential rain, with strong winds in the Isles of Scilly and snow on higher ground.

 

Seventeen severe flood warnings remain in place in parts of Gloucestershire, Somerset, Berkshire and Surrey. BBC Weather presenter John Hammond says "there is a glimmer of hope the worst may be over".

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26188462

 

Next weeks weather

 

Storms easing

 

Less windy

 

Some drier spells

Edited by Summer Sun

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Storm: Two Killed As Strong Winds Hit UK

 

A woman has been killed after a building fell on a car in central London, as stormy weather lashed parts of Britain. The 49-year-old was driving past Holborn Tube station at around 11.05pm on Friday when the front section of a nearby building collapsed. Two other people - a 25-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman - who were in the car were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The building collapse left chunks of masonry and debris left strewn across the road and pavement, which were closed for a police investigation.

 

Meanwhile, a cruise ship passenger died after a liner was hit by a freak wave in the English Channel. The wave battered the British vessel Marco Polo, operated by Cruise and Maritime Voyages (CMV), as it headed for its home port of Tilbury, Essex, at the end of a 42-night voyage. Water smashed through a window, injuring a number of the 735 mostly British passengers on board. An 85-year-old man and a woman in her 70s were airlifted off the ship. The male passenger later died.

 

A number of other passengers received minor injuries and were treated on board. The Marco Polo, which has been to the Amazon in South America and to the West Indies, is due to dock at Tilbury in the early hours of Sunday. In a statement, CMV said: "Our thoughts are very much with these passengers and their families during this difficult time."

 

http://news.sky.com/story/1211924/storm-two-killed-as-strong-winds-hit-uk

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Weather: Gale Force Winds And Rain Batter UK

 

No trains are running in parts of the country and dozens of major roads are closed as another powerful storm sweeps in off the Atlantic. Winds of up to 80mph are battering exposed coastlines but inland gusts of around 60mph have brought down hundreds of trees. A woman was killed when part of a building fell on her car in central London, while a cruise ship passenger died when a freak wave crashed into a ship in the English Channel.

 

The latest storm to strike UK is causing travel chaos, with Southeastern train services suspended until at least 11am while lines are checked for damage. There is severe disruption on many other rail routes, including those run by South West Trains, First Great Western and CrossCountry. Meanwhile, the Highways Agency has closed a number of key routes, including parts of the M40, M48 and A14, as well as the M2, A30 and A249. UK Power Networks said "exceptionally high winds" had knocked out power supplies to around 165,000 homes and businesses. Most have since been reconnected, although an estimated 20,000 remain without power. As well as the strong winds, heavy rain has raised fears of further flooding in areas already under water.

 

Gloucester is thought to be at high risk, while there is no respite for the Thames Valley where river water levels remain at their highest for decades. In Dawlish, south Devon, shipping containers acting as an emergency flood defence after part of the seafront railway was washed away have been breached, leaving homes vulnerable to flooding. Police evacuated some villagers as a precaution, while the coastguard pleaded with people to stay away from coastal areas after four people had to rescued from their cars further along the coast in Torcross. Portland, Dorset, was feared to have been cut off during the night after storm surges covered the causeway linking it to the mainland. Meanwhile, two hill walkers who went missing in poor weather conditions on Ben Nevis in Scotland have been found after a search by mountain rescue teams. Forecasters expect the storms to recede later on Saturday, but heavy rain will continue to affect parts of the UK during the morning.

 

The Environment Agency has issued more than 200 flood warnings, including 21 severe alerts, meaning there is a danger to life, for the South East, South West and Midlands The Met Office has also issued yellow warnings for rain for much of southern England and Wales, as well as amber warnings for wind along the south coast. Since early December, 5,800 properties have been flooded across the country.  Some 2,200 military personnel have been drafted in to deal with the crisis by filling sandbags, putting up barriers and helping stranded residents, while a further 3,000 are on standby. Around 70% of the fire and rescue service in England and Wales are also involved in the flood relief effort - the largest deployment since World War Two. Sky weather producer Joanna Robinson said: "Saturday morning, England and Wales will be fairly cloudy with outbreaks of heavy rain and hill snow, especially in the south and west.

 

"Further river flooding is possible, as Friday's rain makes its way through the river system. "Strong winds will continue to affect parts of the south, particularly south-east England and Channel coasts, with flooding a concern at high tide."

 

http://news.sky.com/story/1211986/weather-gale-force-winds-and-rain-batter-uk

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At last the storm misery comes to an end...but rivers will go on rising for a week

 

BATTERED Britain is about to enjoy a welcome spell of calmer weather as the run of ferocious storms comes to an end at last. The Met Office still has severe weather warnings in place today with 80mph gales, more rain in the flood-hit South and snow in the North. But “more normal conditions†will return by the end of next week as the wind and rain finally die down. Although it will remain unsettled in parts, swathes of the country ravaged by storms will be given much needed respite. We are not quite out of the woods yet, however, with one more low-pressure system due to sweep in from the Atlantic on Monday.

 

Although not as bad as the recent violent storms, it will trigger strong wind and rain. Met Office spokeswoman Nicky Maxey said: “We have another front moving through on Monday but then next week will return to more normal conditions for the time of year. “There is still going to be wind and rain about, so it is not going to be entirely settled, but we are not expecting it to be so extreme. “It is also looking like the South-east will see longer drier spells, though it may be ­ unsettled in the North.â€

 

Weather Channel forecaster Leon Brown said the calmer outlook was thanks to the jet stream shifting north. For the past few weeks it has been wedged over the UK, drawing storms in from the Atlantic. “The jet stream will take a slightly more northerly track next week, though rainfall is still likely to be around 200 per cent of normal for the period,†he said. “There are indications that early to mid-March will see higher pressure over the UK, with drier than normal weather for southern Britain.†Jonathan Powell, forecaster for Vantage Weather Services, said:

 

“It is still going to remain unsettled but it is possible the worst may be coming to an end. There will be more wind and rain about and in the South this will not help the flooding situation but it is looking better after Monday and there are signs March will be a dry month, which will come as a relief to many.†Despite the better forecast, homes will be at risk of further flooding for at least another week as river levels continue to rise. The Environment Agency has 22 severe flood warnings in place, indicating a continued danger to life. Windsor, Maidenhead and Reading are most at risk with the Severn at Gloucester also threatening to overflow. Chief executive Paul Leinster said: “The risk of flooding continues, especially along large ­rivers such as the Thames and ­Severn and in Somerset. People should remain vigilant and take action where necessary.†More than 2,000 troops have been helping with the flood relief effort and another 3,000 are on standby.

 

http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/459892/At-last-the-storm-misery-comes-to-an-end-but-rivers-will-go-on-rising-for-a-week

   

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Army rescue stranded Valentine's Day diners as restaurant is hit by giant waves

 

ARMY troops were called in last night to rescue 32 people from the first floor of a restaurant that was hit by hurricane-force winds and huge waves. The couples were enjoying a love-filled Valentine's Day meal when storms blew out windows at the Marine Restaurant in Milford-on-Sea, Hampshire. Worried eaters were taken upstairs as waves pushed in to the restaurant. Emergency services including coastguards, firefighters and the Army were called in to save the stranded lovers at around 10pm on Friday night.

 

James McCrossan, a chef at the restaurant, said: "The wind was just smashing against the windows. It almost looked like the windows were bending. "The outside of the windows started smashing. There was glass everywhere, it wasn't safe for anyone. "It's like I never seen before and, touch wood, I hope never to see it again." The couples were eventually saved by six-wheel-drive Army vehicles as the sea began to submerge cars in the car park according to reports.

 

Karen Bosman, from Lymington Coastguard, told BBC Breakfast said she had never seen weather like it before. She told BBC Breakfast: "When our coastguard got there, they were just making sure everybody was safe when the first-floor windows were also hit by a freak wave and shingle, and those windows were also stoved in by the weather. She added: "The sustained ferocity I have never seen in my experience. Last night we were getting gusts of 69 knots while this was occurring, and 69 knots is hurricane-force winds. "I have never seen that in the Solent before."

 

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/365648/Army-rescue-stranded-Valentine-s-Day-diners-as-restaurant-is-hit-by-giant-waves

 

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UK storms: Cameron warns of further flooding

 

Much of England and Wales is in danger of further flooding despite a let-up in the long spell of stormy weather, Prime Minister David Cameron has warned. He said problems were likely to get worse as the volume of rain over recent weeks meant groundwater levels would keep rising in many places. Scores of flood warnings and alerts are still in force. Engineers have been working through the night to restore power to thousands of homes cut off after the storms.

Speaking after a Cobra emergency committee meeting on Saturday evening, Mr Cameron said: "Thankfully, it does appear that we will see less rain and wind over the next few days.

 

"However, after so much rain over recent weeks groundwater levels remain very high and in many places will continue to rise." About 30,000 homes are still without power, according to the Energy Networks Association - after almost one million properties were cut off over the last week. The association's Tim Field warned on Saturday night that some homes would still be without power on Sunday. The association said it would give an update on the situation at 09:30 GMT.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26214462

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It's a tale of East versus West as ice and drought strike US

 

AMERICA'S east coast to a standstill has claimed the lives of at least 25 people and left hundreds of thousands without power. In stark contrast, farmers are battling severe drought amid record high temperatures in the South-west and sunbathers sweltered on Venice Beach, Los Angeles. The eastern death toll includes a pregnant woman struck by a snow plough in New York City. Her baby remains critical after doctors performed an emergency caesarean. Two motorists were killed when they tried to help a truck driver on a snowy highway in North Carolina, while most of the deaths have been driving accidents on treacherous roads. Thirty people were injured, five severely, in a multiple vehicle pile-up near Philadelphia on Friday. The extreme weather battering America this winter has cost the economy £30billion in lost productivity.

 

The snow, ice and bitter cold coast to coast have led to a startling reduction in economic growth. Meanwhile President Obama has agreed to come to the rescue of California’s parched farmland. He met landowners and pledged £109million to the state where the lack of rain and snow this winter has led to the worst drought in its modern history. Ranchers have been forced to sell cattle and hundreds of thousands of acres of agricultural land are not being planted.

However, much of the east coast is still digging itself out after snow paralysed many cities, including the capital Washington DC, over the past few days. New Jersey has had more than 40 inches since December and freezing rain and ice brought almost all the southern states, except Florida, to a halt last week. Busy cities like Atlanta and Charlotte became ghost towns as people heeded warnings to stay indoors.

 

All but one of the 50 states has experienced snow in one of the worst winters on record. New York’s Central Park was covered in nearly 10 inches. US airlines have cancelled more than 75,000 domestic flights since December, including at least 14,000 last week. That’s 5.5 per cent of the 1.37 million flights scheduled during the period. It is the highest number and percentage since 1987-1988 when the Department of Transportation started collecting cancellation data.

America’s air traffic system was still recovering on Friday from the latest bout of bad weather. Flights were taking off but almost 8,000 were grounded, causing travel chaos for hundreds of thousands of people.

 

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/459997/It-s-a-tale-of-East-versus-West-as-ice-and-drought-strike-US

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BBC weather for the week ahead with Louise Lear

 

A fairly average February week

 

Less stormy

 

Often cloudy

 

Further rain

 

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PM To Visit Flood-Hit Areas Ahead Of More Rain

 

David Cameron has described flooding that has hit parts of the country as a "tragedy" as he prepares to visit some of the worst affected areas. The Prime Minister chaired another meeting of the Government's Cobra emergency committee on Sunday night as the huge clean-up operation got under way following some of the worst flooding in decades. He also confirmed some of the details of a £10m package to aid flood-hit businesses so they can clean up and keep trading as he meets volunteers, residents and troops in the west of England on Monday. Swathes of the UK remain on high alert as people battle to protect their homes and communities from the floodwaters, which are still expected to rise in places despite a respite from the storms.

 

Sporadic rain is expected in the coming days, bringing fears of the possibility of water levels rising once again, but forecasters are predicted a largely drier week ahead. The Environment Agency (EA) has 16 severe flood warnings in place for the South West and the Thames Valley, with nearly 130 flood warnings and more than 180 flood alerts. Mr Cameron said: "I am hopeful that the work to strengthen long-term flood defences, and the emergency measures which have been put in place over recent days and weeks will mean that we can minimise the number of homes and businesses affected by the latest high water levels. "The recent flooding has been a tragedy for all those affected and my thoughts are with them.

 

http://news.sky.com/story/1212700/pm-to-visit-flood-hit-areas-ahead-of-more-rain

UK floods set to continue as more rain hits

 

The devastating UK floods are set to continue as more heavy rain hits already saturated ground. The Met Office has issued a yellow "be aware" warning for rain in south-west England and there are 16 severe flood warnings in southern England. However, the situation in the worst-hit areas of the Thames is expected to improve this week. David Cameron described the floods as a "tragedy" and warned people to prepare for more bad weather this week.

 

Persistent rain

 

Up to 20mm (0.8in) of rain is forecast in south-west England on Monday. The BBC Weather Centre said this would not normally cause too many problems but the Met Office warning was in place because of the saturated ground. There are also concerns about south Wales. There is also a yellow severe weather warning for ice in northern Scotland until 11:00 GMT. As well as severe flood warnings, the Environment Agency has more than 300 less serious flood warnings and flood alerts in England and Wales. Tuesday and Wednesday should be drier, say forecasters. Another area of low pressure looks set to arrive on Thursday and Friday, with stronger winds and more rain, but it is not expected to be as intense as last week.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26222220

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