Flooded street in England. Credit: Brian Jackson

Floods in Cornwall

2 September 2017 21:00 UTC–3 September 18:00 UTC

Flooded street in England. Credit: Brian Jackson
Flooded street in England. Credit: Brian Jackson

On 3 September 2017 a complex of frontal systems brought prolonged and, occasionally, heavy rain to the southwest of England, causing flooding in parts of Cornwall.

Last Updated

10 October 2022

Published on

02 September 2017

By Ian Mills (Ian Mills Training)

The Met Office analysis on 3 September 2017 at 00:00 UTC showed several fronts approaching the west of the UK. The broad swathe of frontal cloud associated with these fronts can be seen on the Meteosat-10 Airmass RGB image (Figure 1).

 Meteosat-10 Airmass RGB, 3 Sept 00:00 UTC
Figure 1: Meteosat-10 Airmass RGB, 3 September 00:00 UTC

The cloud and associated rain moved very slowly eastwards, as can be seen on the Airmass cloud animation, 2 September 21:00 UTC–3 September 18:00. Also on the animation cumulonimbus (CB) tops can be seen embedded in the frontal cloud.

 
 Rainfall radar, 03 Sept 05:00 UTC
Figure 2: Rainfall radar, 3 September 05:00 UTC. Animation, 2 Sept 21:00 UTC–3 Sept 18:00 UTC
 
 Met-10, 03 Sept, 05:00 UTC
Figure 3: Meteosat-10 Airmass RGB, 3 September 05:00 UTC

Outbreaks of heavy rain can be seen, as areas of bright pink, on the 05:00 UTC radar image (Figure 2) and the radar animation. These areas tie in well with the convective cloud tops visible on the Airmass RGB image at the same time (Figure 3).

The outbreaks of heavy rain and the fact that the rain lasted all day, led to the flooding in parts of Cornwall

 

Additional content

Cornwall floods leave motorists trapped in vehicles (BBC News)