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Uckfield Case Study: What caused the heavy rain of 12 October 2000?

The summer and early autumn of 2000 was a wet one in southern England, so the ground became saturated and river levels ran high.

Between 8 and 12 October a series of low-pressure systems crossed the UK, bringing gales and heavy rain.

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  • 8 October: a Low over Iceland brought gales and a series of cold fronts which quickly crossed the UK
  • 9 October: two complex low pressure systems brought more fronts and 25-40mm of rain over Sussex
  • 10 October: a Low developed over Scotland, with gales and heavy showers over Sussex bringing 10-15mm of rain
  • 11 October: the Low over Scotland became stuck, with a new Low arriving over Central England, producing gales over the whole UK and 15-30mm of rain over Sussex.
  • 12 October: the Low drew moist air from the Bay of Biscay over Southern England where a line of heavy, localised thundery showers formed. They tracked northwest over Sussex, bringing 150mm of rain overnight to Uckfield. Only 5-10mm fell in some other areas.

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