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Bad Weather Woes For Europe And U.S.

posted 3 Jan 2014, 10:08 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 3 Jan 2014, 10:08 ]


BVO - England's green and pleasant land - now under several inches of water.

High tides and strong winds have already caused severe flooding and there's more expected.

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Roads and rivers have merged as river banks burst.

And people have been told to remain vigilant.

Britain's Environment Secretary Owen Paterson.


"I would appeal to everyone to keep in very close touch with the warnings which are being put out on a very regular basis by the Environment Agency, to pay heed to them as these floods and the coast will be dangerous."

Britain has been told to brace itself for another series of devastating storms.

On Friday the UK's Environment Agency issued 10 severe weather warnings, indicating a possible risk to life.

The exceptional weather conditions are also taking their toll on British businesses.

Bad weather in the run up to Christmas has already been blamed for keeping shoppers away from UK High Streets.

And according to MeteoGroup's senior meteorologist, Matt Dobson, it could become a familiar pattern.

SOUNDBITE: Matt Dobson, senior meteorologist, MeteoGroup, saying (English):

"It's all down to a phenomenon called the jet stream, it's basically a narrow ribbon of strong winds, around 5-7 miles above the surface. It's always there really, blowing across the Atlantic from America to the UK but it does vary in strength and direction and these changes a fluctuations in the jet stream affect our weather."

While the UK is being battered by floods, the U.S. is experiencing severe snow storms.

Planes at Boston's Logan airport were grounded, disrupting travel for hundreds of passengers.

In all around 1,500 U.S. flights have been cancelled and almost double that number delayed.

The severe weather is also having an impact on energy prices.

Canadian crude hit a five-month high on Thursday on concerns that production could be disrupted.

And Nymex gas futures were 9 cents higher on Thursday, traders anticipating higher demand for heating as temperatures drop in the U.S. early next week.

In contrast energy prices were easing as the weather in parts of Europe such as GermanyFrance andItaly is much milder than expected.

Matt Dobson, senior meteorologist, MeteoGroup, 

"Because we've got this very westerly jet stream blowing across the UK, it's tending to draw a lot of warm air up from the Mediterranean and also from further afield such as the tropical Atlantic, so lots of warm air moving up across Spain into Italy and into parts of south eastern Europe."

While severe weather conditions are becoming more the norm there's little anyone can do to prevent them.

And the current spate of bad weather could, according to the most pessimistic forecasts, could last throughout the month.