The Environment Agency has issued a flood alert for the Rivers Caldew and Petteril.
Heavy and persistent rain is expected to spread in from the west, lasting until Sunday. The rain and widespread snowmelt means there is a possibility of flooding.
All of Cumbria will be affected, mainly on higher grounds. Flooding is possible for the rivers from the Lakeland fells to where they meet the Eden in Carlisle, including Greystoke, Newton Reigny, Plumpton, Stockdalewath, Sebergham and Denton Holme in Carlisle.
The Environment Agency are warning that thousands of people in the North West are at risk from flash flooding, and is urging communities to prepare in advance.
Flash flooding is caused by intense rainfall. It occurs suddenly with little or no warning – often before the emergency services have time to arrive. It tends to happen when heavy rainfall runs off land and quickly swells rivers and streams, or where drainage systems are overwhelmed by rainfall.
To try and help people understand the risks, the Environment Agency has undertaken detailed studies to identify the communities most at risk from this type of flooding.
They will contact local householders and business owners to explain the risks, and how to prepare themselves to stay safe.
A conservation project to improve the quality of the River Petteril in Carlisle has won a national award.
The River Petteril was once renowned for its trout fishing, but recently was identified by the Environment Agency as being "poor" in terms of water quality and its fish populations.
Pollution was identified as a major problem, arising from various sources such as farms, roads, inadequate sewage systems and domestic septic tanks.
Working with farmers much of the focus was on reducing how much animal waste was washed in to watercourses and improving drainage and guttering.
More than 5km of river bank has been fenced to prevent farm animals from reaching the river. More than 2,000 trees have been planted along the river to stabilise the banks and allow more wildlife to feed and breed in the river.
Barriers that stopped fish migrating upstream have been improved.
"We are delighted to have received this award, which recognises the achievements and benefits of this collaborative way of working. None of this would have been possible without the fantastic support and commitment of the local farming community.
"The project will benefit all those concerned with the river and its surroundings, and make it a better place for people and wildlife."