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Storm Desmond brings a red warning for rain over Cumbria and the Scottish Borders

Heavy rain on already saturated ground could result in disruption.

Severe weather warnings, the fourth named storm of the season, is bringing potentially damaging gusts of wind across northern England in particular at times today (Saturday), while the frontal systems associated with the storm are bringing heavy rain to some parts of northern Britain. 

The heaviest rain is expected on west facing hills and mountains from north Wales northwards and a Red 'take action' warning for rain is now in force for parts of Cumbria and the Scottish Borders. Rainfall totals of 150 to 200 mm are expected in places across Cumbria today, especially over exposed mountains, whilst parts of the Scottish Borders can expect to see in excess of 60mm. In addition significant impacts are likely across a broad area of northern England, western Scotland and Northern Ireland.

An Amber 'be prepared' warning for wind is in place for parts of  the SE of Scotland and NE of England, parts of the Pennines with gusts of 70-80mph likely this afternoon and evening.

The wind and rain are expected to peak this afternoon and evening, however flood impacts will continue though the evening and night as water flows into the river system and out to sea.

Forecast chart for 1200 Saturday 5 December 2015

The Environment Agency has severe flood warnings in place for parts of the River Tyne in Northumberland and across Cumbria. They are warning residents in Carlisle to prepare for very high river levels. They also warn that significant flooding is likely from rivers and surface water across parts of Lancashire, the West Pennines and the Cheviot Hills, while the River Ouse in Yorkshire is continuing to rise, with levels likely to be raised until Tuesday.

Marc Becker, Scottish Environment Protection Agency's Hydrology Duty Manager, said: "Heavy rain will continue to affect much of Scotland throughout the rest of the day (Saturday).  Rivers rose significantly overnight and they will continue to rise and remain very high throughout today.  There has already been significant transport disruption, including on some main roads and rail links and some property flooding across areas of central and southern Scotland. SEPA will continue to monitor the situation and publish flood warnings and information online. People can also report incidents of flooding, whether from sea, rivers or in towns on our website."

The last time we issued a red warning was on 12 February 2014 for Winter storms, January to February 2014  across Wales and northern England. Maximum recorded gust speeds included 108 mph at Aberdaron, Gwynedd, 96 mph at Lake Vyrnwy (Powys) and 93 mph at Capel Curig (Gwynedd) - close to record values. The highest gust speed on record for North Wales is 112 mph at Aberdaron on 24 December 1997. This was one of the most significant storms to affect Wales and north-west England in recent decades.

The weather system will clear southwards during the early hours of Sunday leaving less windy, calmer, colder, showery weather for Scotland and Northern Ireland. These showers could be wintry on hills, mainly above 300m.

You can keep up to date with the latest forecast using our five day Seven day forecast pages, the latest weather warnings on our Severe weather warnings pages and find out What are the National Severe Weather Warning Service Impact tables?.

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