Copyright Chris Frost 2019 | All Rights Reserved

Floods near Gloucester, United Kingdon

Flooding in Gloucestershire created a major problem for many people. These pictures were taken on a flight from White Waltham, near Maidenhead to Gloucester and Tewkesbury. In one of the pictures, I noticed some strange stone circles in what looked like a junk yard and a few weeks later visited the site by car and discovered that it was the premises of Ronson Reclaim and Norton Stone & Masonary. Mystery solved.

The UK Met Office explanation for the storms that created the floods is shown below:

“This series of winter storms has been exceptional in its duration, and has led to the wettest December to January period in the UK since records began. Heavy rains combined with strong winds and high waves led to widespread flooding and coastal damage, causing significant disruption to individuals, businesses and infrastructure.

The severe weather in the UK coincided with exceptionally cold weather in Canada and the USA. These extreme weather events on both sides of the Atlantic were linked to a persistent pattern of perturbations to the jet stream, over the Pacific Ocean and North America.

The major changes in the Pacific jet stream were driven by a persistent pattern of enhanced rainfall over Indonesia and the tropical West Pacific associated with higher than normal ocean temperatures in that region. The North Atlantic jet stream has also been unusually strong; this can be linked to exceptional wind patterns in the stratosphere with a very intense polar vortex.

As yet, there is no definitive answer on the possible contribution of climate change to the recent storminess, rainfall amounts and the consequent flooding. This is in part due to the highly variable nature of UK weather and climate.

Nevertheless, recent studies have suggested an increase in the intensity of Atlantic storms that take a more southerly track, typical of this winter’s extreme weather. There is also an increasing body of evidence that shows that extreme daily rainfall rates are becoming more intense, and that the rate of increase is consistent with what is expected from the fundamental physics of a warming world.”

Met Office, 2014


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