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Notable persistent floodplain inundation - January 2014 Hydrological Summary for the UK

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14 February 2014

The intensely cyclonic conditions of late-December continued into January, resulting in an exceptionally wet and windy (but notably mild) start to 2014. A succession of vigorous low pressure systems brought gale force winds, exceptionally strong swells (causing extensive coastal damage and tidal flooding) and persistent frontal rainfall. With heavy rain falling on already saturated ground, flood alerts were widespread and sustained through January. Average flows during the month were exceptional in many rivers, but peak river flows were generally not exceptional; rather, January was notable for the persistence and spatial extent of floodplain inundation, particularly from large, slowly responding rivers and in low-lying areas such as the Somerset Levels.

Posted Image

Average river flows in the UK during January 2014. Black circles indicate exceptionally high flow.
Dark blue indicate notably high flow
. More details in key.





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