Heavy rainfall in Scotland 6 -11 August 2011


Heavy rainfall between Saturday 6 and Monday 8 August 2011 resulted in saturated ground conditions and localised flooding across parts of Scotland, particularly in Aberdeenshire.

This was followed by further persistent, heavy rain throughout Wednesday 10 and much of Thursday 11 August. The worst of the conditions were across Southern and Central Scotland but the more southern parts of Northern Scotland also saw heavy rain for a time. This rain gradually moved away southwards during Thursday afternoon.

Weather data

Rainfall totals for 1-11 August from a selection of Met Office observing stations.  

Location Actual (mm) 1 to 11 August Long term August average (mm) Percentage of average
Leuchars 134 47 285 %
Charterhall 97.2 51 191 %
Lentran 118.8 66 180 %
Inverbervie 91.8 52 177 %
Lossiemouth 94.8 54 176 %
Edinburgh, Gogarbank 101.2 59 172 %
Strathallan Airfield 101.6 60 169 %
Aboyne 92.4 56 165 %
Kinloss 88.6 57 155 %
Dyce 96 62 155 %


On Monday there was flooding in Aberdeenshire, where the River Deveron came very close to overtopping in Huntley. This resulted in the evacuation of a Care Home and a number of other properties. There were problems for revellers attending a music festival outside Inverness.

Rail services between Huntly and Elgin were disrupted and the A96 Inverness to Aberdeen road was closed for a time at Fochabers.

The heavy rainfall during Wednesday resulted in a number of roads being affected by surface water flooding. As the day progressed an increasing number of SEPA Flood Alerts were issued, many of which were upgraded to Flood Warnings on Thursday. By Thursday morning there were 29 SEPA Flood Warnings in force and widespread surface water flooding throughout much of Central and Eastern Scotland affecting both road and rail transport.

How we did

The Aberdeen PWS forecaster and the PWS advisors worked together with SEPA through the Scottish Flood Forecasting Service to advise many Scottish Responders throughout the period of heavy rain.

Yellow rainfall alerts and warnings were issued in good time and updated to Amber warnings as required. A Red warning (the highest level of warning) was temporarily issued for the Edinburgh area as a result of consistent predictions of rainfall totals exceeding 100mm.

A Grampian Tactical group was formed on Monday and our Public Weather Service (PWS) Advisors provided weather briefs to the group by telephone until the water levels started to drop and the flooding risk reduced.

Late on Wednesday evening it became clear that there was the risk of flooding for properties in Huntly resulting in the Grampian Tactical group being set up once again. Our PWS advisors provided weather briefs to overnight meetings and in the early hours it was clear that the rain was easing and that water levels would not rise to a level that would require evacuation.

Scotland’s Strategic Coordinating groups and the Tactical groups in Grampian were supported directly by the PWS Advisors throughout the period. PWS Advisors also briefed Ministers in the Scottish Government Cabinet Sub Committee when it was convened on Thursday.

Positive feedback was received from all parties about the guidance and warnings issued.

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