Storm Jonas, one of a kind in history, to hit UK
The army has been put on standy as swathes of the country brace for up to eight inches of rain – a month’s worth – to fall over the next 48 hours.
Remnants of Storm Jonas, which has been dubbed the Storm of the Century will coincide with high tides and will whip up mammoth waves putting coastal regions on alert for flood chaos.
Worst hit will be the southwest, northern England and Scotland with communities warned to prepare for the worst.
It spells renewed misery for parts of the country still reeling from Christmas floods although nowhere will escape unsettled weather this week.
The Environment Agency (EA) warned of a possible ‘danger to life’ and travel disruption issuing 14 alerts and three more serious warnings.
The Met Office has severe weather warnings in place for rain across the northwest and down the western coast of the UK today and tomorrow.
Experts blame a plume of mild, humid air about to be dragged across the country by the remains of Storm Jonas.
The storm unleashed chaos over the United States at the weekend sparking some of the worst blizzards in American history.
Although it will leave the extreme cold behind as it travels across the Atlantic it threatens to deliver a bout of storms which could hold out for the rest of the week.
Parts of Scotland and Northern England were inundated with rain last night, with forecasters warning the deluge will only get worse as the storm travels further south.
Laura Caldwell, a forecaster at MeteoGroup, said: “Between 10 and 25mm fell in a few hours overnight in those areas and through the course of today the rain will sweep across most of the UK. Southern Scotland, the west of England and Wales will be particularly affected.
“This is the remnants of storm Jonas. The warmer, very moist, tropical air is bringing in this potentially very high rainfall.”
The Environment Agency said river levels are still high after the wettest December on record with Cumbria, Yorkshire and Lancashire back in the firing line.
Spokesman Chris Wilding said: “Heavy rainfall brings the risk of flooding on Tuesday and Wednesday across the south west, Midlands, Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire, with the potential for high waves along south west and north west coasts.
“Our teams have worked around the clock over the past few months, first responding to the recent floods and then helping support communities with recovery, and we will continue to do so with more heavy rainfall on the way.
“Our thoughts are with all those who have suffered serious flooding over the past few months, and “it is once again vital that people prepare for heavy rainfall and the risk of further flooding.
Last night Environment Secretary Liz Truss chaired a meeting of the Government’s emergency COBRA to plan the response to the latest deluge.
The military has been put on red alert and extra pumps have been deployed to reassure “anxious” flood-hit communities following savage criticism of Ministers’ handling of the devastating Christmas floods.