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Further heavy rain expected in north east Scotland but rivers lower than witnessed during Storm Babet

Date published: 25 October 2023


“Following last week’s severe weather event, people in communities in the north east are still recovering from extensive river and surface water flooding impacts, and with more rain forecast for the coming days we understand that people may be concerned.

“The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for rain starting on Thursday, but we are not looking at totals anywhere near what was experienced during Storm Babet and river levels are not forecast to be as high.

“Forecasts show accumulations over the three days will widely be around 20 to 30 mm with 50 to 70 mm likely to fall over higher ground. There is a lower probability of 80-100 mm in a few locations. For context, during the weekend of Storm Babet, the north east experienced 200-250 mm of rainfall in 48 hours.

“Although widespread significant flooding is not currently expected, many catchments remain saturated following the recent heavy rainfall events – and further rain could affect areas where flood waters remain. We encourage people to continue to keep up to date by following weather information from the Met Office and flooding advice from SEPA. 

“We will continue to keep a close eye on the situation, monitoring 24/7 as well as working closely with the Met Office and local authorities. Regional Flood Alerts will be issued for affected areas and SEPA will issue localised Flood Warnings as required.

“We advise people to sign up to Floodline to receive free updates for where they live, or travel through, directly to their phone. People can also check our flood updates for all the latest information and the three-day Scottish Flood Forecast to see what conditions are expected further ahead.”

David Scott, SEPA’s Flood Duty Manager, said.

Staying informed

Be prepared and stay safe

  • Don’t walk through flood water – 15cm of fast flowing water could be enough to knock you off your feet and hazards can be hidden under the water.
  • Drive with care, and do not travel through deep fast flowing water. It only takes 30cm of fast flowing water to move an average family sized car.
  • If you’re walking beside rivers be extra careful of wet footpaths and small watercourses.
  • Consider deploying flooding protection products if required.

What’s the difference between a flood alert and a flood warning?

  • We use forecast weather information provided by the Met Office combined with our own observation of rainfall and river levels and advanced hydrological modelling to provide advance warning of flooding.
  • Regional Flood Alerts are early advice that flooding is possible across a wider geographical area. The purpose of the Alerts is to make people aware of the risk of flooding and be prepared. We normally issue them 12 to 24 hours in advance of the possibility of flooding.
  • Flood Warnings are more locally specific and are issued for areas where we have gauges on rivers to measure the exact river height. They are issued at shorter notice when we are more certain that a specific area will be affected.