More Snowfall Followed by Potential Flooding Over the weekend and much of the week we have been disrupted by the snow. Just when we thought the worst was behind us, it looks like there are more disruptions ahead. Even though the snow is slowly disappearing, this means it is thawing and with the heavy rainfall that is expected around most of the country, it means there are more risks of flooding again. 50 flood warnings have been issued around the UK as the ice begins to melt and on top of this in some areas ice warnings are still in place. According to forecasters there will be one more final heavy snowfall and hopefully the weather will warm up slightly, don’t go putting your air conditioning units on yet, it won’ be that warm! Temperatures are expected to reach 10C in the south on Sunday. It is believed that the north of England could see 15cm of snow and the south may see up to 5cm. A spokesman from the Environment Agency, Roy Stokes has some up with a creative and fun way for those who will need to be making preparations for the floods; “Ideally if everybody built themselves a snowman it will slow the thaw down a bit. “If you notice when people clear their drive the snow thaws away but the compacted piles stay. “That would give a balanced thaw which would be helpful.” However, after this comment the Environment Agency has said this will make little difference, although it is a nice idea. Our Year of Unpredictable Weather! So it is official, 2012 was the second wettest year here in the UK since records began back in 1910. Over the last few years we have seen our fair share of unpredictable weather; 2006 saw a heat wave in July, huge floods in 2009 and in 2010 we experienced “the big freeze”. At the beginning of this year there were worries and concerns as to what was going to happen to crops as a result of two dry winters. There was a drought warning and farmers, water industry officials and politicians attended a water summit. There was a hosepipe ban introduced in April of last year in the South and South East of England as a result of the dry winters. By July these were lifted due to the huge rain fall. After the two years of dry winters, spring and summer ended up being the wettest in 100 years. After a desperately wet summer, things were not looking good for winter and once again there was more rainfall. With the weather continuing in this fashion farmers around the country struggled with their crops. On top of this, rivers overflowed causing unthinkable damage to thousands of properties. In contrast though, the previous year, 2011, was the second warmest in the UK on record. We had the hottest April and spring, the second hottest autumn and the hottest day in October since records started. As there is no real pattern to what weather we will experience it is best to make sure your air conditioning units are serviced and well maintained all year round, even if it is as wet as 2012! With this much unpredictable weather who knows what 2013 will hold for us weather wise. Let’s hope it is a hot one! Intense September Storm Over the last few days, we are all aware of the heavy rainfall that has hit most of us. However, in the North they are preparing for even more flooding than they are already experiencing as the most intense September storm since 1981 hits. Having said this, the amount of flood warnings are declining from the Environment Agency although there are still 68 standing. On top of this there are some less serious flood warnings, 110 in total around the country. This is in advance of the predicted 4 cm of rain that is going to fall within the next 24 hours. Those living next to the River Ouse in Yorkshire are preparing for higher water levels and protecting their houses. The beginning of the year saw some of the wettest months in 100 years, and then followed by a rather damp summer. I think it is fair to say we were all hoping for an Indian summer but it seems 2012 will be known as the year of the umbrella (or sandbags). Looks like we won’t need to turn our air conditioning units on as frequently after all. However, it is essential to keep them well maintained in preparation and hope for next year. It is not just the North that is expecting these heavy rainfalls. The South and the Midlands may also encounter flooding. So far since Sunday, 400 homes have been flooded meaning that hundreds of people are having to take refuge in temporary accommodation. Flooding in the Philippines Hundreds of thousands of people in the Philippines are slowly being rescued after deadly floods ripped through the capital, Manila and other areas close by. Volunteers are being requested to help supplies to be distributed amongst the people as there are close to 300,000 currently in emergency shelters. A month’s worth of rain fell in just two days and has claimed 19 lives as landslides and floods caused the capital to hault to a complete standstill. Across the Philippines two million people in 30 cities and across 16 provinces have been affected. A report published by the Government’s disaster management agency has said, “Of the above total affected, 11,079 families/538,445 persons are currently served inside and outside evactuation centres. Cash, canned food, bottled water, medicines, clothes. Blankets and hygiene kits are to be donated and can be given to various organisations that are helping with the relief efforts. Benita Ramos is the head of the country’s disaster response agency said that the floods may become worse. “It will take a few more days to recover, assuming the rain stops now.” The executive assistant to Social Welfare Secretary Corazib Soliman, Sheila Alinsangan and she have said, “The situation is very dynamic, we need more people to help out in this massive relief effort.” Although here in the UK we have been rather disappointed with our summer and not being able to turn on our air conditioning units to escape the heat, this terrible natural disaster puts it all in perspective.