Flooding outlook - Saturday 20 February

  20 February 2021

Janine Hensman, SEPA's Duty Flooding Manager said:

“Throughout Saturday and Sunday, river and surface water flooding is expected across southern, central and north eastern Scotland. This is due to another band of heavy rain arriving today that follows yesterday’s rainfall and ongoing snow melt. River levels will drop initially, but will then rise again later this afternoon with impacts ongoing into Sunday. As a result, travel disruption is possible and rivers will be high and fast-flowing.

“Looking ahead to next week, rain is expected to return on Tuesday with flooding impacts possible late Tuesday and into Wednesday that may result in minor river and surface water flooding in the south west of Scotland, and Southern Highlands.

“10 regional Flood Alerts and 33 local Flood Warnings have been issued, and people living and working in affected areas are advised to plan their journeys and consider the steps they need to take now to be prepared, including keeping flood protection products in place in high risk areas. 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. We would encourage the public to remain vigilant, especially in isolated, low lying agricultural areas susceptible to flooding. 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.
  • Please consider deploying flooding protection products if required. 

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

  • Rainfall and river levels data are available to SEPA internally but cannot be exported automatically to the web pages to share with the public at the moment as a result of the cyber-attack. Our teams are working as quickly as possible to restore wider services, including public access to river level data, and we’ll continue to provide weekly updates on the status of our services at sepa.org.uk/servicestatus.
  • For the latest information on the Cyber Attack please visit – Cyber attack | Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)