Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Minutes of Evidence


Annex C

TIMELINE OF ACTIVITIES PRIOR TO 19-20 JULY RAINFALL EVENT

Mon 16 July

  Medium Range guidance indicated potential for a heavy rainfall event on Fri 20 July but confidence was moderate. Informal contact between the Met Office and the Environment Agency.

Tues 17 July

  Potential for an extreme rainfall event across England and Wales identified and discussed at Chiefs brief. Model solutions remained variable but risk estimated as 40% based on available evidence. EA informally notified of likely event.

Wed 18 July

  NSWWS Early Warning for heavy rain issued at 1013BST, covering the period 0000 Fri 20 to 1200 Sat 21 July. Potential for 60-90mm of rain mentioned but with uncertainly regarding where highest totals would occur. Southern and eastern areas of England considered most at risk (60%). Chief forecaster briefed EA National Flood Warning Officers via audio conference in afternoon.

Thurs 19 July

  Localised heavy downpours were covered by Flash Warnings. Update to Early Warning issued at 1006BST, mentioned this aspect before focusing on the more widespread heavy rain for Fri/Sat. Potential for 75-100 mm of rain mentioned with focus shifted towards southern and central parts of England and Wales. Chief forecaster provided further brief to EA in afternoon, mentioning totals exceeding 100 mm locally in high risk areas defined in Early Warning. Excessive hourly totals (30-50 mm/hr) also highlighted.


Fri 20 July

  Flash Warnings were issued for many southern/central counties early in the day, with further issues/updates through the day. Large hourly totals were mentioned in addition to longer timescale accumulations. Highest hourly total recorded near Haywards Heath late morning—42.8 mm. EA National Flood Warning Officer was embedded in Met Office forecasting Operations Centre.

Sat 21 July

  Localised Flash Warnings in force across SE England and NE Scotland. EA national flood warning officer remained embedded within Ops Centre during daytime hours.







 
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