The entire town of Brechin, in Angus, has been evacuated as Storm Babet poses a “risk to life”.
Exceptional, unprecedented, and heavy rain has started hitting eastern Scotland. More than 10,000 homes have already lost power. A red warning has been issued in the South East, while much of the rest of the UK will suffer from flooding and disruption.
This storm is imposing significant interference to an already struggling national transport system. Travel Scotland has warned the public to expect a high level of disruption from Storm Babet.
The number of “exceptional” and “unprecedented” weather events in the UK appears to be rising. A temperature of 25.8ºC was recorded in Kew Gardens on the 7th of October, while this week, temperatures plummeted to single digits.
Furthermore, the MET Office has warned of another “mini-heatwave” to come after Storm Babet, with temperatures expected to rise above 20ºC.
Storm Babet is a continuation of this variable, inconsistent weather. The MET Office also states that more winter storms, including “disproportionately severe storms”, will impact the UK.
The Government has recognised the risk posed to national infrastructure by the increasing volume of storms. The Joint Committee on National Security Strategy published “Readiness for Storms Ahead? Critical National Infrastructure in an Age of Climate Change” just over a year ago, on October 17th 2022.
Yet, so far, minimal action has been taken by the UK government to act to limit the damage. Although Storm Babet is a natural disaster, its human and ecological impact could have been mitigated by “funding climate adaptation and resilience”.
We can expect to see more disproportionately severe storms in the future until we take action, at grassroots and government levels, to address such climate emergencies.