New tool warns Scots about flooding three days in advance

Forecasting service will aim to tell communities when and where to expect flooding.

A new tool has been launched to give communities more time to prepare for flooding.

The Scottish Flood Forecast will warn residents when and where flooding is expected over the following three days.

It has been developed by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and the Met Office, giving people extra time to prepare their properties.  

The system will be key to helping locals “build resilience” when time is of the essence. 

Nicole Paterson, chief executive at SEPA, said: “For the last ten years, we’ve had Floodline Scotland – a text alert or phone call – to tell them when there will be flooding in their local area.  

“But what’s really important about the National Flood Forecast is that it’s three days ahead.  

“Communities can also get some comfort when they see rain that there’s not going to be an issue within their area and that confidence is just as important for communities.” 

The forecast is produced every morning, 365 days a year, and published on SEPA’s website.  

Scottish Flood Forecast is produced every morning.STV News

The tool is designed to be used alongside the current Floodline service, which issues shorter notice warnings. 

The colour-coded map also describes the potential impacts on communities and links to advice and information on what protective action people can take if required.  

The data used on the system is provided by the Met Office. 

Ian Cameron, Met Office markets director, said: “The Met Office is trying to predict what’s falling out of the sky – where it’s falling, intensity, whether it’s snow, whether it’s rain. 

“While we’re doing that, SEPA’s responsibility is working with us in partnership is to say ‘where is flooding going to happen?’.”

Concerns climate change will mean 'flooding will be more frequent'

The new tool has also been welcomed by the Scottish Government.

Environment minister Mairi McAllan said: “The impact of the climate emergency, across the world and here in Scotland, means that flooding will be more frequent.

“That is why it’s so important that we increase community resilience and take action to manage flood risk. 

“This new three-day forecast is a helpful addition to the other important services, such as Floodline, that the Scottish Flood Forecasting Service provides.” 

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