British weather will see 'supercell storms' and flash flooding within 10 years, scientists say

A person walks through flood water in Littlehampton, West Sussex
-Credit: (Image: PA)

People living on every corner of the earth are experiencing higher levels of extreme weather due to the effects of manmade climate change with record floods, droughts, and wildfires already impacting countries across the world as temperatures rise 1.3C. Unless something is done to stop temperatures rising further, scientists have warned that this is likely to result in "supercell storms" afflicting even the mild British climate.

As the globe warms, Britain's reputation for rain will only get worse, with a grim prediction of relentless rainfall by 2034 as torrential downpours, as well as the floods that follow them, will increase in intensity every five years as the climate changes. The alarming report by the World Weather Attribution group, has described how these warmer temperatures and increased rainfall will even increase the ferocity of the wind, with "mini tornados" emerging as a new feature of British weather.

Monsoon-like rains, followed by hailstorms, are projected to linger for extended periods, wreaking havoc throughout the years, even in the typically sun-soaked summer months. People have also been told to brace for an uptick in floods and the emergence of these "mini-tornado" supercell storms as violent weather patterns are predicted to strike with increasing frequency and ferocity.

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Bill McGuire, a leading expert in geophysical and climate hazards at University College London (UCL), paints a stark picture of what lies ahead. McGuire warns of shorter-lived yet intense torrential downpours. He said: "In summer, shorter-lived torrential rainfall and hail are more likely associated with convective storms [severe local storms] that develop when temperatures are high."

"Higher average wind speeds will mean that future storms will be increasingly damaging. Massive supercell storms will become more likely year-round, bringing increased flash flooding."

McGuire also highlights that while these convective storms could strike anywhere in the UK, regions experiencing the highest temperatures, notably southern and central England, are most susceptible to their wrath. The latest report also highlighted shifting weather patterns poised to disrupt water supplies, farming, and urban areas.

Leading the charge is Chris Brierley, a distinguished professor of climate science at UCL. Brierley's urgently called for action to be taken now to try and mitigate the damage. He said: "There needs to be a change in the way we manage flooding, including reforesting bare hillsides to soak up water run-off and paying farmers to allow land to be used to hold excess river flow."

The warning comes just after Britons across the nation were urged to prepare for a drenching, with forecasts indicating the arrival of up to 25mm of rainfall as shown on maps issued by forecasters at Ventusky. Scheduled for next week (June 7, 2024), the storm is predicted to unleash torrents of rain, particularly targeting the southeastern regions of England and Wales.

Of notable concern are Swansea and Cardiff, where forecasts predict the heaviest concentration of rainfall. While the brunt of the storm is expected to hit the southeast and Wales, other parts of the country, including much of southern England, are also anticipated to experience significant rainfall, with up to 12mm of rainfall predicted for these areas.