Red warning issued for Storm Babet
Author: Press Office
10:39 (UTC+1) on Wed 18 Oct 2023
The Met Office has issued a Red warning as Storm Babet will bring exceptional rainfall and impactful wind for some.
The Red warning for rain covers parts of the east of Scotland, including Brechin, Forfar and Kirriemuir. It’s in force from 1800 on Thursday through to midday on Friday.
⚠️⚠️🔴 Rare Red weather warning issued 🔴⚠️⚠️— Met Office (@metoffice) October 18, 2023
Exceptionally heavy and persistent rain across eastern Scotland
Thursday 1800 – Friday 1200
Latest info 👉 https://t.co/QwDLMfRBfs
Stay #WeatherAware ⚠️ pic.twitter.com/Ybig9DaQ6R
Met Office Chief Meteorologist Jason Kelly said: “Confidence has increased in the chances of considerable impacts from rainfall in parts of the east of Scotland from Storm Babet, which has resulted in the escalation to the Red warning.
“100-150mm of rain is expected to fall quite widely within the warning period, with some locations likely to see 200-250mm, which is expected to cause considerable impacts with flooding likely.”
Impacts highlighted as part of the red warning is a danger to life from flood water, extensive flooding to homes and businesses and severely disrupted travel conditions. This is the first Red warning for rain issued in the UK since Storm Dennis in February 2020.
A wider Amber warning for rain is also in force from early Thursday to late on Friday for eastern and central parts of Scotland. Within this area, 70-100mm of rain is likely quite widely, with some upland areas possibly seeing 150-200mm of rain through the period.
Strong winds from an easterly direction have also resulted in an Amber wind warning being issued for eastern parts of Scotland. Gusts in excess of 70mph are likely on Thursday, with particularly poor conditions on immediate coastlines.
A number of weather warnings are in force for Storm Babet, with heavy rain also likely for Northern Ireland, as well as large parts of England and Scotland.
Jason continued: “Storm Babet will track gradually northwards in the coming days, and although the most significant impacts are expected within the Red and Amber warning areas, there will still be wider impacts for much of the UK from this wind and rain.”
Some heavy rain is also likely for parts of south and southeast England on Friday, associated with a second area of low pressure arriving from the south. In excess of 50mm of rain is possible in some spots.
Be prepared for potential flooding
David Morgan, Flood Duty Manager for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), said: “Storm Babet will bring heavy rain and high winds across Scotland from Wednesday evening, starting in the southwest before moving across to the northeast through Thursday and into the weekend.
“Impacts from surface water and rivers are likely, and with catchments saturated from recent heavy rain and flooding, we’re urging people to be prepared for potential flooding. There is also concern that surface-water flooding may be exacerbated by debris blocking drainage, culverts, etc. as a result of the high winds.
“Flood Alerts and Warnings will be issued as required, and we continue to work with the Met Office to monitor the situation 24/7. People can check our Flood Updates for all the latest information and the three-day Scottish Flood Forecast to see what conditions are expected further ahead.
“If you live or work in an area that could be affected, consider any steps you need to take now to be prepared and stay safe, and to take extra care if you need to travel.
“If you have not already signed up to Floodline, you can do so now to receive free updates for where you live, or travel through, directly to your phone. Follow SEPA’s social media, especially @SEPAflood on X for the latest information.”
A spokesperson for the British Geological Survey said: “Whilst the landslides will be different to last week’s failures in the West of Scotland with less potential of large-scale debris flows, there is a history of coastal landslides within the warning area. Infrastructure slopes are also likely to be affected with potential for disruption to roads and railway within the warning area.”
Stay safe near the coast
RNLI Water Safety Partner, Sam Hughes, said: “The forecasted strong winds along with heavy rain are likely to cause dangerous conditions for those visiting the coast around the UK and Ireland.
“The RNLI advises staying a safe distance away from the water and cliff edges as the conditions could knock you off your feet or wash you into the sea. It is not worth risking your life.
“If you see someone else in danger in the water, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard if by the coast, or the fire service if inland. If you have something that floats that they can hold on to, throw it to them. Don’t go in the water yourself – you may end up in difficulty too.”
The RNLI advice is:
- Stay well back from stormy, wintery seas and cliff edges
- Check the weather forecast and tide times before you go out
- Take a phone with you
- In an emergency call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard
Do you know your flood risk?
Could your property be at risk of flooding? Follow this three point plan to check and be prepared: 1. Check if your property is at risk here. If you are at risk take the next two steps to protect your property when you need to, 2. preparing a flood plan, 3. Prepare an emergency flood kit.
Low pressure is forecast to remain in charge of the UK’s weather into the start of next week, with potential for further spells of wet and windy weather.
You can keep up to date with the latest forecast on our website, by following us on Twitter and Facebook, as well as on our mobile app which is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from the Google Play store.
Updated at 15:47 (UTC+1) on Wed 18 Oct 2023