Storm Dennis could be worse than Ciara, an expert has warned, as Britain braces for a “perfect storm” of heavy rain, strong winds and melting snow.
The new named weather front is set to batter large swathes of Britain this weekend, with 70mph winds and up to 140mm (5.5inches) of rain in some areas.
On Saturday and Sunday, there are 8 different warnings in place across the UK.
The Environment Agency (EA) said the flood impact from the storm is likely to be worse than last weekend’s Storm Ciara due to rain falling on already saturated ground.
Storm Ciara, which hit the UK on Sunday, left 800 properties flooded in England alone, according to the EA.
John Curtin, the agency’s executive director of flood and coastal risk management, said Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire were the areas he was now most “concerned” about.
“This one [storm] could be a step up from what we have seen before,” Mr Curtin said.
“We had a big storm last weekend, [we now have] saturated catchments, snowmelt and rainfall – so it is a perfect storm.”
He said the snow which fell in parts of England following Storm Ciara is likely to melt as the rain arrives on Saturday.
Meanwhile Paul Davies, principal meteorologist at the Met Office, said much of the UK can expect between 20mm to 40mm of rain over the weekend, increasing to 50mm to 80mm in some areas.
Mr Davies said up to 140mm would not be “impossible” over the high ground of Wales and Scotland.
The “main areas of concern” on Saturday are north and south west England, and Wales, followed by south east England on Sunday.
As of 2.30pm there were 12 flood warnings, meaning that flooding is “expected”, and 97 flood alerts, meaning that flooding is possible, in place across the country.
Mr Davies said: “With Ciara the rain was heavy, but swept through. The concern with Dennis is the longevity of the rainfall.”