The Met Office has also declared an amber warning of rain for a large portion of central England, from South Yorkshire down to Peterborough.
In some regions, fast-flowing or deep floodwater is likely, with potential danger to life, according to the Met Office.
“We’re expecting surface and river water flooding to affect parts of northern England today and then northern, central and eastern England on Wednesday and Thursday, which could cause damage to buildings in some communities,” Craig Woolhouse, flood duty manager at the Environment Agency, said in a statement.
“Heavy downpours falling on already saturated ground may also cause flooding more widely across England from today until Saturday for slower responding rivers. Localised flooding on roads and land is also likely across central and southern England on Wednesday and Thursday.
⚠️⚠️ Amber weather warning updated ⚠️⚠️
Rain across parts of central and northern England
Tuesday 0600 – Thursday 1200
Latest info 👉 https://t.co/QwDLMfRBfs
— Met Office (@metoffice) January 18, 2021
“We urge people to keep away from swollen rivers and not to drive through flood water—it is often deeper than it looks and just 30cm of flowing water is enough to float your car.”
As the storm system sweeps into the North Sea on Thursday, it is expected to pull in colder air, and to then dump snow over parts of Scotland, potentially up to a foot deep on high ground.
The effects of the storm are already beginning to be felt. The river Mersey is beginning to burst its banks in the suburbs of Greater Manchester, and a major incident has been declared in South Yorkshire, according to the Mayor of Doncaster, where the council is handing out sand-bags.
“Storm Christoph will bring a mix of notable weather hazards across the UK over the next few days. Some locations in central Northern England and Wales could see a month’s rainfall in just a couple of days, with up to 200mm possible over higher ground, presenting a real threat of flooding,” Met Office Chief Meteorologist Neil Armstrong said in a statement.