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Parts of the country could see two months' worth of average rainfall in just two-and-a-half days as Storm Christoph batters Britain and the army remains on standby.
The environment agency has issued 48 flood warnings and 174 flood alerts this morning in England – see full list below.
There are 53 flood alerts and 11 flood warnings in Wales, and 5 flood alerts in Scotland.
Weather warnings for heavy rain are in force across the country, and the unsettled conditions could also bring significant flooding, high winds and snowfall as the storm engulfs the country through the middle of the week.
The Met Office's most serious weather warning – amber for rain – has been in place across parts of the Midlands and northern England since Tuesday morning, while a less serious yellow warning is in place across the rest of England, parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Storm Christoph has caused concern for people living in areas devastated by the floods at the end of 2019, who say they are preparing for the worst to happen again.
York city centre on Wednesday morning
(Image: Andrew McCaren/LNP)
Storm Christoph to batter Brits with two months of rain in two days as warnings cover UK
Yellow snow and ice warnings hit UK as Storm Christoph brings weather chaos for Brits
The army has been placed on standby to help with potential flooding as soon as today, according to the Telegraph.
Simon Partridge, a Met Office forecaster, explained: "It's not a traditional sort of storm, it's going to be windy but it's not based on the wind strength at all, it's really down to the disruption that's being caused by rain.
"There are already parts of Cumbria that have already seen over 80mm of rain since midnight on Tuesday and there's a large number of places that have seen 50mm, and we are going to see further rain over the next 24 to 36 hours."
Honister Pass in Cumbria saw 77mm of rain between midnight and 6pm on Tuesday, according to Environment Agency figures.
Vehicles pass through flood water on the A6, Derby Road in Hathern, Leicestershire
(Image: Adam Gerrard / Daily Mirror)
The River Ouse in York city centre has broken its banks this morning
(Image: Andrew McCaren/LNP)
Winterwatch wildlife to help get us all through coronavirus lockdown three
Mr Partridge said the storm meant that some areas could see double the average amount of monthly rainfall over a few days.
He said: "Those areas that have seen between 50mm and 70mm already, the warning is out until midday on Thursday, so an extremely long period, but by then we could see up to 150mm to possibly 200mm of rainfall.
"The Midlands for example, their average rainfall total for the whole month is 73mm, so they could easily get double that in the course of two, two and a half days."
Floodwaters have already risen in parts of the country, with a motorist pictured stranded in Leicester, and workmen in York preparing flood defences on Tuesday morning near the city's River Ouse.
A father and son look at the River Calder near Sanbed
(Image: Tom Maddick / SWNS)
Pat Meadows, from Tickhill, South Yorkshire is braced for more flooding
(Image: Glen Minikin)
Tuesday also saw disruption to transport, with Network Rail reporting delays and some line closures in the North West in the evening.
However, residents of Fishlake, South Yorkshire – which was cut off by the floodwaters just over a year ago, said they are much better prepared this time with many having sandbags dropped outside their properties on Tuesday.
A major incident was declared in both Greater Manchester and South Yorkshire ahead of the expected heavy rainfall.
North Yorkshire County Council said more than 15,000 sandbags were at the ready around the county.
Meanwhile, Public Health England (PHE) issued a cold weather alert from "first thing" on Thursday until 9am on January 25 for the North East, North West and Yorkshire and the Humber.
The agency said the risk of flooding will amplify the public health risks of the severe cold weather.
Flood alerts and warnings around the country
48 hour Weather Forecast In Your Area: North East England
Today will be a cold and wet day with outbreaks of rain and drizzle, with the rain turning heavy at times.
Rain, sleet and hill snow continue overnight with further heavy bursts likely.
On Thursday outbreaks of rain, sleet and hill snow will gradually clear through the morning, leaving sunny spells and scattered wintry showers.
North West England
Heavy rain will be seen throughout Wednesday, which will be torrential at times with an ongoing flood risk.
Temperatures will be mild, but with strong winds, particularly along coasts and in the south.
On Thursday clear spells and showers, wintry over hills, are forecast throughout the day.
Flooding on a lane in Bramhall
(Image: Manchester Evening News)
Yorkshire & Humber
In Yorkshire there will be a rather mild start to the day with outbreaks of rain and drizzle.
Rain will be heavy and persistent at times, especially over higher ground.
Outbreaks of rain, sleet and hill snow will gradually clear through Thursday morning leaving sunny spells and scattered wintry showers.
It will be very windy and bitterly cold with gales over hills and coasts.
It will be a mild day today with outbreaks of rain and drizzle, heavy at times particularly over higher ground.
Outbreaks of rain, with possible hill snow for the Peak District will clear early Thursday.
Sunny spells and scattered showers will remain on Thursday, when it will be windy and bitterly cold.
Council workers build a flood defence wall to protect houses next to the River Ouse
(Image: Getty Images)
Ongoing outbreaks of heavy rain will be torrential at times with an ongoing flood risk on Wednesday.
It will turn colder on Thursday with sunny spells and a few blustery showers.
East of England
A mild day is in store with outbreaks of rain and drizzle, perhaps heavy at times.
Further periods of heavy rain are likely overnight but it will become drier and clearer by dawn.
Thursday will be a cold, bright and blustery day with plenty of sunny spells, but also a few showers.
A child cycling along a flooded road in Earith
(Image: Getty Images)
London & South East
A mild day is in store today with outbreaks of rain and drizzle, perhaps heavy at times.
Thursday will be a cold, bright and blustery day with plenty of sunny spells, but also a few showers. It will feel colder than in recent days.
Heavy rain will hit this morning with occasional drier spells this afternoon.
Thursday will be cold with plenty of sunny spells and a few blustery showers. Strong winds will gradually ease.
A measuring stick in the River Trent at Stoke Bardolf in Nottinghamshire
(Image: Joseph Raynor/ Nottingham Post)
Areas closest to Sankey Brook at Dallam
B1040 Thorney to Whittlesey Road to the South of the River Nene
Collingham Beck at Collingham
Fouracres and The Crescent at Maghull
Low lying properties in the Upper Hull catchment
North Bank Road alongside the River Nene, east of Peterborough and west of Dog-in-a-Doublet Sluice
River Aire at Allerton Ings, Barnsdale Road and Properties
River Blithe from Blithfield Reservoir to Bancroft
River Calder at Horbury – The Strands
River Derwent at Buttercrambe Mill
River Derwent at Old Malton
River Eden at Carlisle, Rickerby Park, Swifts and Stoneyholme Golf Courses
River Esk from Briggswath to Ruswarp
River Glen at Greatford and Kates Bridge
River Goyt at Whaley Bridge
River Mersey at Cheadle Wood and Ford lane
River Nidd at Hunsingore
River Nidd at Knaresborough Caravan Parks and Goldsborough Mill Farm
River Nidd at Low Laithe
River Ouse at Naburn Lock
River Ouse at York – riverside properties
River Ouse at York – St George's Field and Queen's Staith
River Ribble at Samlesbury, around Brockholes Reserve and Lower Brockholes Quarry
River Ribble at Walton-le-Dale, area from Fishwick Bottoms to Railway Bridge
River Roch at Littleborough
River Roch in Rochdale
River Seven at Marton
River Seven at Normanby
River Soar at Zouch Island
River Swale at Howe village and by Skipton Bridge
River Ure at Roecliffe Caravan Park
River Vyrnwy at Maesbrook
River Vyrnwy at Melverley
River Weaver at Acton Bridge and Weaverham
River Weaver at Shrewbridge Lodge
River Witham and associated Fens from Chapel Hill to Boston
River Witham and associated Fens from Washingborough to Metheringham
River Witham and associated Fens from Woodhall Spa to Chapel Hill
River Wreake at Frisby-on-the-Wreake
River Wreake for mills at Hoby, Thrussington and Ratcliffe
River Wye at Ashford in the Water, Church Street area
River Wye at Litton Mill
River Wye at Wye Bank and Milford at Bakewell
Speet Gill at Wigton, Burnfoot
Walsden Water at Walsden
Wiza Beck and Black Beck at Wigton, Station Rd
Wiza Beck, Flosh Beck, Speet Gill and Black Beck at Wigton
4×4 Response vehicles make their way through floodwater in Mountsorrel, Leicestershire
B1041 between Little Paxton and St Neots in Cambridgeshire
Barnstaple, Braunton, Ilfracombe and Combe Martin Area
Bottle Brook in Derbyshire
Burstwick and Keyingham Drains
Earby Beck and Glusburn Beck
Earith Causeway in Cambridgeshire
East and West Glens
Groundwater flooding in the Candovers and Old Alresford
Hundred Foot Washes in Cambridgeshire and Norfolk
Little Ouse River and River Thet in Suffolk and Norfolk
Loughborough Urban Watercourses
Lower Derwent in Derbyshire
Lower Dove Brooks and Egginton Brook in Derbyshire
Lower Dove Brooks in Staffordshire
Lower Glen and Bourne Eau System
Lower River Aire catchment
Lower River Calder catchment
Lower River Cam in Cambridgeshire
Lower River Coquet
Lower River Derwent
Lower River Don catchment
Lower River Douglas
Lower River Eden
Lower River Great Ouse in Central Bedfordshire, Bedford Borough and Cambridgeshire
Lower River Irwell catchment including areas in Greater Manchester
Lower River Lune and Conder
Lower River Nidd catchment
Lower River Ribble and Darwen
Lower River Soar in Leicestershire
Lower River Swale
Lower River Tees and estuarine tributaries
Lower River Ure
Lower River Wear
Lower River Wharfe
Lower River Witham
Lower River Wyre
Middle Exe Area
Middle River Aire catchment
Middle River Don
Middle River Great Ouse in Milton Keynes, Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire
Middle River Mersey catchment including areas near Bramhall, Stockport, Sale, Altrincham and Urmston
Middle River Nidd catchment
Minor Watercourses from Heighington to Dunston
North West Norfolk Rivers
River Alt, Formby to Huyton
River Amber in Derbyshire
River Anker and River Sence
River Arrow in Herefordshire
River Blithe and River Swarbourn
River Bollin catchment, including Knutsford, Wilmslow, Macclesfield and Bollington
River Calder in east Lancashire
River Cherwell from Lower Heyford down to and including Oxford
River Churnet and River Tean
River Coln and its tributaries
River Colne, Holme and Fenay Beck
River Crimple catchment
River Dane catchment including Kidsgrove, Sandbach, Congleton, Middlewich and Northeast Crewe
River Dart Area
River Dearne catchment
River Dee catchment in England from Whitchurch to Chester
River Devon and Smite in Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire
River Dikler from Condicote to Little Rissington
River Ditton catchment including areas around Huyton-with-Roby and Widnes
River Dove catchment
River Ecclesbourne in Derbyshire
River Erewash in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire
River Esk catchment
River Foulness and Market Weighton catchment
River Frome in Herefordshire
River Granta in Essex and Cambridgeshire
River Idle in Nottinghamshire
River Leadon Catchment
River Leam and River Itchen
River Leen and Day Brook in Nottinghamshire
River Lostock and River Yarrow
River Lugg south of Leominster
River Maun in Nottinghamshire
River Meden in Nottinghamshire
River Mersey Uplands catchment including Hyde, Ashton-under-Lyne, Denton, Stalybridge and Glossop
River Nar in Norfolk
River Ray and its tributaries from Shipton Lee to and including Islip
River Rhee in Central Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire
River Riccal catchment
River Rye catchment
River Sankey catchment with St Helens and Warrington
Rivers Brathay, Rothay and Winster
Rivers Caldew and Petteril
Rivers Cocker, Marron and Derwent
River Sence in Leicestershire
Rivers Esk and Irthing
River Seven catchment
River Severn in Shropshire
River Sheaf and Porter Brook
Rivers in the Forest of Dean
River Sow and River Penk
River Spen and Batley Beck catchments
Rivers Pont and Blyth
Rivers Wampool and Ellen
River Teign area
River Thame and Chalgrove Brook
River Trent from Cromwell Weir to Gainsborough
River Trent in Derbyshire
River Trent in Nottinghamshire
River Trent Tributaries in Nottinghamshire
River Went catchment
River Windrush from Bourton to Newbridge
River Wiske and tributaries
River Wissey in Norfolk
River Worth catchment
River Wreake in Leicestershire
River Wye in Derbyshire
River Wye in Herefordshire
Rothley Brook in Leicestershire
Ryton Oldcotes catchment
Severn Vyrnwy confluence
South Forty Foot Drain
Sutton Gault Causeway in Cambridgeshire
The River Bure, Spixworth Beck and surrounding Becks
The River Burn from Southgate and Waterden to Burnham Thorpe
The River Stiffkey from Fulmodeston to Warham
The Rivers Tud and Wensum from Fakenham to Costessey, including Wendling Beck
The River Waveney from Diss and the River Dove to Ellingham, including Bungay
The tidal Rivers Bure, Ant and Thurne
The tidal River Waveney from Ellingham to Breydon Water
The tidal River Yare from Thorpe St Andrew to Breydon Water
The upper Rivers Yare, Tiffey, Tas and Wacton
Tidal River Aire catchment
Tidal River Ouse from Naburn Lock to Selby
Tidal River Ouse from Selby to Faxfleet
Tidal River Wharfe
Tributaries of the lower River Witham from Blankney to Sleaford
Upper Bristol Avon Area
Upper Derwent in Derbyshire
Upper River Aire
Upper River Calder catchment
Upper River Cam in Essex and Cambridgeshire
Upper River Coquet
Upper River Derwent
Upper River Derwent, Stonethwaite Beck and Derwent Water
Upper River Don catchment
Upper River Douglas
Upper River Eden
Upper River Hull catchment
Upper River Irwell catchment with Oldham, Bolton, Rochdale, Haslingden, Ramsbottom and Rawtenstall
Upper River Nidd catchment
Upper River Ouse
Upper River Ribble, Hodder
Upper River Stour
Upper River Swale
Upper River Tamar
Upper River Tees
Upper River Ure
Upper River Wharfe
Upper River Wyre, Brock
Upper Soar catchment
Weaver catchment including Nantwich, Frodsham, Crewe, Winsford and Northwich
Welney Causeway in Norfolk
Wirral catchment with Heswall, Ellesmere Port, Bebington, Hoylake and Wallasey
Witham in North Kesteven
Witham in South Kesteven
Wyke Beck, Meanwood Beck and Wortley Beck catchments.