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Flooding of 8th - 9th April 1998


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Posted
  • Location: Cheshire
  • Location: Cheshire

My mind was taken back 23 years to the severe flooding which followed 60-90mm of rain in a broad zone from Breconshire across the South Midlands to Cambridgeshire, the highest total being 105mm at Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire. According to Philip Eden, this was the most destructive flooding in the area since July 1968 and the Rivers Avon, Leam, Cherwell and Nene all overtopped their banks. Leamington Spa, Warwick, and Northampton were all very badly hit, 2000 homes in Northampton alone were flooded and six people died.

Being in the North West at the time, I was not directly affected by the flooding but I was due to travel south for Easter which was the following weekend, and I wondered whether I would make it, given the severe effects of the flooding on travel on the motorways. In the event, I did get south but there was still much evidence of flooding in the fields bordering the M6, M5 and M40. 

I would be interested to know what caused this flooding. An occluded front getting stuck over the area perhaps? I could be quite wrong but it strikes me as unusual that there was this amount of rain in a month such as April. Summer storms or winter rains yes, but early Spring...? 

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Posted
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl

From memory I think it was caused by a stalling occuluded front marking the boundary between mild tropical air and much colder polar air. The cold air undercut and turned the rain to snow in places. The following few days were cold and we had lots of frost and wintry/snow showers at times.

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Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam
On 09/04/2021 at 09:00, A Face like Thunder said:

My mind was taken back 23 years to the severe flooding which followed 60-90mm of rain in a broad zone from Breconshire across the South Midlands to Cambridgeshire, the highest total being 105mm at Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire. According to Philip Eden, this was the most destructive flooding in the area since July 1968 and the Rivers Avon, Leam, Cherwell and Nene all overtopped their banks. Leamington Spa, Warwick, and Northampton were all very badly hit, 2000 homes in Northampton alone were flooded and six people died.

Being in the North West at the time, I was not directly affected by the flooding but I was due to travel south for Easter which was the following weekend, and I wondered whether I would make it, given the severe effects of the flooding on travel on the motorways. In the event, I did get south but there was still much evidence of flooding in the fields bordering the M6, M5 and M40. 

I would be interested to know what caused this flooding. An occluded front getting stuck over the area perhaps? I could be quite wrong but it strikes me as unusual that there was this amount of rain in a month such as April. Summer storms or winter rains yes, but early Spring...? 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted
  • Location: Cheshire
  • Location: Cheshire

Thanks for this Weather-history. What 'messy' weather we had that week. I think I must have left coming south until Easter Saturday 11th April after the main rain band had moved away, and although the ground was still saturated on the south coast, I don't think the weather was particularly bad the following week and we certainly did not see any snow on the coast.

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Posted
  • Location: King’s Lynn, Norfolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Hot and Thundery, Cold and Snowy
  • Location: King’s Lynn, Norfolk.

The worst flooding I’ve ever seen. The memories have never left my mind, despite only being 6 years of age at the time! I remember going over the River nene on the A1260 (Nene Parkway in Peterborough) on the morning after the monsoonal rain we had the previous day and night, and seeing Orton Mere completely submerged. Never seen it as bad ever since. A truly extreme period of weather. A once in a century event at a conservative take. 

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  • 5 months later...
Posted
  • Location: Cambourne Cambridge 70M ASL
  • Weather Preferences: Blizzards,Hot Thundery nights.
  • Location: Cambourne Cambridge 70M ASL
On 11/04/2021 at 15:07, East_England_Stormchaser91 said:

The worst flooding I’ve ever seen. The memories have never left my mind, despite only being 6 years of age at the time! I remember going over the River nene on the A1260 (Nene Parkway in Peterborough) on the morning after the monsoonal rain we had the previous day and night, and seeing Orton Mere completely submerged. Never seen it as bad ever since. A truly extreme period of weather. A once in a century event at a conservative take. 

I was 23 at the time working in St Ives Cambs on late shift I remember it rained all day and night then on my journey home to Godmanchester there  was rivers of water running down the A14 slip road.

Next day Huntingdon was virtually cut off from all sides as the river great Ouse seemed to rise from  everywhere. Never seen flooding like that before. 

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  • 2 years later...
Posted
  • Location: Coventry, 96m asl
  • Weather Preferences: Snow in winter, thunderstorms, warmth, sun any time!
  • Location: Coventry, 96m asl

I was looking at the latest river levels, and couldn't help notice that 1998 had the highest level at some measuring stations in the River Leam and Avon.

image.thumb.png.0bb72a1c74758e09ff1b98825b7ca96d.pngimage.thumb.png.4174efbdcf9043ea4b594fd7efdf0c10.png

I then search up the UK weather for April 1998 and find this thread alongside an article from the Coventry local newspaper, and many others! A 14 year old Coventry boy in Eathorpe passed away.

 
WWW.COVENTRYTELEGRAPH.NET

It's 21 years since the River Leam burst its banks, flooding town centre streets and claiming the life of a Coventry teenager

 

This is at Fosse Way in Princethorpe below which I pass through fairly frequently when going for walks in that area outside Coventry. A top of the end damaging flood event this was, and hope we don't see a repeat of this any time soon! Likely dodged a bullet here with storm babet back in October, with the worst of the flooding north of Warwickshire.

image.thumb.png.9d1a6c63ae7d7577e18ee4304fd1fad5.pngimage.thumb.png.c130ae87ffd3dfa8c46650f1c9778980.png

 

Aerial view over somewhere in Northamptonshire from here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/20-years-after-the-northamptonshire-easter-floods

s960_Northamptonshire_flooding_for_web.thumb.jpg.57b2fd8a036a78e35528a251c85cfb52.jpg

 

Edited by Metwatch
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