Looking back at Storm Callum – this week in October 2018

Two years ago this week, Storm Callum moved across the UK bringing high winds, heavy rain, and disruption to travel and power supplies in many places.

Storm Callum was the third named storm of the 2018-2019 storm season, named by Met Éireann on 10 October. As the storm deepened over the Atlantic on 11 October, it was forecast to impact large parts of the UK over the course of the 12 and 13 October 2018 with high winds and heavy rainfall.(1)

When Storm Callum arrived it brought a period of high winds on 12 October, with a gust of 86 mph recorded at Capel Curig in northwest Wales and winds of over 70mph were recorded elsewhere.(1) The very windy weather caused travel disruption to roads, rail, and ferry crossings, and flights were cancelled at airports in Dublin, Belfast and Bristol.(2)

As the storm progressed, heavy and persistent rainfall continued throughout 14 and 15 October. Click here to watch a Met Office rain-radar sequence for Storm Callum.

In 36 hours, Libanus in Powys recorded more than a month’s worth of rain with a total of 219 mm recorded here from the entire event and more than 150mm in Cumbria.                                                                                           Met Office website

Flood Foresight

Our Flood Foresight system produced forecasts of significant rainfall and provided forecast and real-time flood inundation and depth data before and during Storm Callum.

The system was able to generate estimates of persistent significant flooding in the Lake District and South Wales from 9 October, four days in advance of peak flooding. From this, we were able to estimate regions, neighbourhoods and properties at risk.

These flood depth footprints shown below at two locations in Wales, Llanrwst and Crickhowell on 13 October, demonstrate the real-time flood inundation mapping generated by Flood Foresight.

Flood foresight map, Crickhowell, Wales

Flood foresight map, Llanrwst

The provision of reliable forecasts of flooding in advance of flood impacts allows proactive responses that reduce the impacts of flooding. Flood Foresight is a globally-scalable operational system providing data on rainfall severity, flood inundation footprints and depths, and flood impacts. Flood Foresight integrates high resolution rainfall forecasts, hydrological models, river gauge telemetry and state of the art high-resolution flood maps across the UK and Ireland to provide impact forecasts to those who need them most.

Want to know more?

Flood Foresight supports operational flood management in the infrastructure, insurance, utilities and civil contingencies sectors, and is designed to be compatible with existing business intelligence and decision support tools. Find out more about our flood forecasting and monitoring system at www.floodforesight.com. You can also email John Bevington.


  1. Met Office website: https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/warnings-and-advice/uk-storm-centre/storm-callum
  2. BBC website: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-45821215

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