THIS rainfall radar map illustrates why York is facing serious flooding later this week.

The city is shaded in white because, at 1.20pm, it wasn't raining.

But up in the Yorkshire Dales - catchment area for the River Ouse in York - the shading in the Netweather image is yellow, orange and red.

Yellow shading means about 5mms of rain an hour is falling, orange means about 10mms an hour and red means as much as 15mms an hour.

An amber warning from the Met Office says heavy rainfall is likely in the Dales until lunchtime on Thursday, and this is likely to cause flooding of homes and businesses and fast flowing or deep floodwater, causing danger to life.

It also says there's a good chance some communities will be cut off by flooded roads.

The Environment Agency says the rainfall in the catchment could lead to the River Ouse in York rising to more than 4 metres above normal summer levels later this week.