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Latest on Hurricane Bertha and how it might affect the Staffordshire Moorlands and Leek

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: August 08, 2014

Rain on water

Hurricane Bertha is on the way

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The remnants of Hurricane Bertha will continue to track towards the UK during the next few days.

The Met Office has been assessing the likelihood of the UK seeing any effects from Bertha by using its own forecast models alongside models from other world-leading forecast centres.

At the moment southern parts of the UK look as though they are most at risk during Sunday, followed by areas of north east Scotland on Monday. However, there is also the possibility that the depression could move across northern France as a weak feature.

The transition of Bertha from a tropical to an extra-tropical feature is a particularly hard one to forecast but there is increasing confidence that this feature will affect the UK on Sunday, though with very large uncertainty remaining over the track and intensity.

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Chief Meteorologist, Paul Gundersen, said: “There is still some uncertainty surrounding this weekend’s weather, with the potential for heavy rainfall, strong coastal winds and large waves on Sunday.However, there is still a chance that the system may pass to the south of the country giving the UK a brighter day.

“Rain and strong winds may well bring disruption, especially across southern parts of the UK, with the potential for more than 50 mm of rain and coastal gusts of over 60 mph. People should stay up to date with the latest Met Office warnings.”

Craig Woolhouse, Environment Agency Flood Risk Manager, said: "Heavy rain on Sunday may lead to localised surface water flooding in some parts of England and Wales. On Sunday and Monday a combination of high spring tides and strong westerly winds bring a risk of large waves and spray and possible flooding to the south west coast of England and along the Severn Estuary. However, the forecast remains uncertain so we advise people to regularly check the flood risk situation over the next few days.

“If you’re travelling to or from holiday then check your flood risk before setting off and don’t drive through flood waters.

"The Environment Agency is continuing to monitor the situation closely along with the Met Office and local authorities. People can sign up to receive free flood warnings, check their flood risk and keep up to date with the latest situation on the GOV.UK website to check if you are at risk of flooding or follow @EnvAgency and #floodaware on Twitter for the latest flood updates."

Jeremy Parr, Head of Flood Risk Management, Natural Resources Wales said: “Our officers will be monitoring forecasts closely over the weekend as the situation in Wales becomes clearer but in the meantime we are advising people to remain alert.

“We are likely to see some very heavy rain on Sunday into Monday, and combined with strong winds and high spring tides, conditions along the coast could be dangerous. As the forecast remains unsettled, we are advising people to keep an eye on weather forecasts and check the latest flood alerts on our website.”

Ross Macloed, RNLI Coastal Safety Manager, said: “Extreme wave heights combined with high tides can make some normal coastal activities we take for granted significantly more risky; the force of surging water or breaking waves can easily knock you over and quickly drag you out of your depth and once in the water it can be difficult to get out. As little as one cubic metre of water weighs a tonne and shows that you should never underestimate how powerful the sea can be.

“If you are planning a coastal activity, our advice is to respect the water, and watch the shore from a safe distance and assess the conditions; think about the risk before deciding if you need to go closer.”

Met Office records show that there are similar examples of intense low pressure systems occurring in August, for example, the 24 August 2005 where an active storm sat off the northwest coast of Scotland bringing strong winds and heavy rain. On the 30 August 1992 a depression swung up from the southwest across the UK giving a wet and windy Bank Holiday weekend.

We will be keeping an eye on the latest outlook for the weather over the next few days and the progress of ex Bertha to keep everyone up to date with the latest information.

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