Jet stream is to blame for the UK's flooding

Posted: 11/07/2012

Since the beginning of May, more than 3,000 properties have been flooded, around 55,000 properties have received flood warnings and just over 31,000 homes were protected by flood defences. Further protection against the devastating effects of flooding has been estimated to cost £860 million by 2015, according to the Government’s climate change advisers.

The Met Office has revealed that the recent wet conditions have been caused by a jet stream that has sat at a lower altitude than usual. The jet stream is approximately 11 kilometres above the surface of the Earth at the poles and around 17 kilometres above the surface of the Earth at the equator. The jet stream flows at around 100mph from East to West and a jet stream can grow to 160km wide and 2-3km thick.

In a normal summer, the jet stream would typically pass to the northwest of Scotland, bringing rain to the northwest of Britain and drier weather to the southeast. This year, the jet stream lies across southern England which has brought the low pressure systems straight across England and Wales. The jet stream movement can be forecast relatively accurately for a 5 day period, like the weather, but no longer and this makes it difficult to predict how long the jet stream will bring wet weather to the UK.

The unusually low path of the jet stream has been liked to Global Warming. Research has suggested that the melting of the Artic ice has made the warm and cold winds change in the upper atmosphere which has affected the jet stream.

The Department for Environment, Flood and Rural Affairs have stated that they will spend £2.17 billion over a four year period to protect people from flooding. They aim to protect an extra 145,000 homes by 2015 however, the Government will be cutting funding for flood defences by 10% a year in many cases.

This news comes at a time when the insurance guarantee for all UK households is up for renewal next year, if you would like to read more about this story, you can visit Pali’s previous blog HERE.

According to the Committee on Climate Change, about 28% of gardens were paved in 2001, rising to over 50% in 2011. This means that rain has fewer places to soak into therefore, its only destination is the drains which can over flow very quickly.

If you would like to find out if you need flood insurance for your home or a property you’re looking to purchase, you can order a Groundsure Floodsearch from Pali for only £22.20. The GroundSure Floodsearch includes a wide range of data that considers many types of flood risks.

If your interested in ordering or want to know more about a Groundsure Floodsearch or a Full Environmental Report, please call Pali on 0151 691 1170 or email

Have you been affected by the recent flooding and are you concerned about the insurance agreement which is up for renewal next year? Do you believe that the jet stream has moved because of global warming or do you have your own explanation?

Amanda McGovern, Pali Ltd

Google +

(0) Comments flooding, insurance, Government, jet stream, weather

Latest News



Subscribe to receive a weekly update of our blog posts

Searchcode Logo copso Logo Ipsa Logo
Close X

This site may store cookies to help make your visiting experience easier. if you are happy to continue, close this window or click here