Flooding outlook for Thursday 21 January 2021

  20 January 2021

Flood Alerts have been issued for Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City, Caithness and Sutherland, Findhorn Nairn Moray & Speyside and Orkney due to heavy rain expected across coastal areas between 8am and 2pm tomorrow (Thursday 21 January). This could result in overflowing of small watercourses and surface water, leading to property flooding and essential travel disruption.

Most at risk are northern-facing coastal communities, especially along the Buchan coastline. Strong winds will also cause coastal spray and wave overtopping around the coast from Shetland to Aberdeen.

Regional Flood Alerts have been issued and people living and working in affected areas are advised to deploy flood defences if they have them. You can stay up to date with regional Flood Alerts and local Flood Warnings at sepa.org.uk/floodupdates

SEPA is working 24/7 to monitor rainfall and river levels and is in close contact with the Met Office and other partners to review the forecasts, which are combined with local expertise from all regions of Scotland to understand and present the flooding risk. The most up-to-date information is always available on our website.”

Staying informed

  • All SEPA’s Alerts and Warnings are available on our website at sepa.org.uk/floodupdates

  • Floodline is always the most up-to-date information – with any new flood updates available as soon as they are issued.

  • Advice on what you can do to prepare for flooding can be found at floodlinescotland.org.uk

Be prepared and stay safe

  • Check Floodline - visit sepa.org.uk/floodupdates

  • Don’t walk through flood water – 15cm of fast flowing water could be enough to knock you off your feet and hazards can be hidden under the water.

  • Drive with care, and do not travel through deep fast flowing water. It only takes 30cm of fast flowing water to move an average family sized car.

  • If you are walking beside rivers be extra careful of wet footpaths and possibly small watercourses in spate.

What’s the difference between a Flood Alert and a Flood Warning?

We use forecast weather information provided by the Met Office combined with our own observation of rainfall and river levels and advanced hydrological modelling to provide advance warning of flooding.

  • Regional Flood Alerts are early advice that flooding is possible across a wider geographical area. The purpose of the Alerts is to make people aware of the risk of flooding and be prepared. We normally issue them 12 to 24 hours in advance of the possibility of flooding.

  • Flood Warnings are more locally specific and are issued for areas where we have gauges on rivers to measure the exact river height. They are issued at shorter notice when we are more certain that a specific area will be affected.

Notes to editors