October 27, 2013

Extreme Weather Imminent in South West England!

The storm of St. Jude is almost upon us, and the official forecast has eased slightly. The latest Met Office news release now says:

The storm is set to deepen rapidly just to the south west of the UK late today, before moving into western areas in the very early hours of Monday morning.

It's then expected to track rapidly across the country, moving off into the North Sea by late morning – by which time the strongest winds will have passed.

Gusts of 60-70mph are expected in southern parts of England and Wales, with gusts of 80mph or more in places – particularly around southern and south western coasts.

Heavy rain will accompany the storm, with a chance of some localised surface water flooding.

There are currently 36 flood alerts in South West England, together with 3 red flood warnings, all for the Dorset coast:

Flood warnings for South West England on the evening of October 27th 2013

Flood warnings for South West England on the evening of October 27th 2013

The most recent Met Office surface level pressure chart (courtesy of MeteoCiel.fr) shows a higher central pressure for the storm than yesterday:

UK Met Office model surface level pressure forecast for early on Monday October 28th 2013

UK Met Office model surface level pressure forecast for early on Monday October 28th 2013

The wind forecasts from the Global Forecast System suggest that Northern France will actually fare worse than Southern England over the next few hours. Here's the maximum gust forecast for 10 PM tonight:

GFS model maximum wind gust forecast for 22:00 on Sunday October 27th 2013

GFS model maximum wind gust forecast for 22:00 on Sunday October 27th 2013

It's a bit hard to make out in amongst all the arrows, but the South West is left of centre about halfway down, on the edge of the large red area. The brightest red band represents 85-90 km/h, or around 55 mph in Imperial units. Here's how things look 3 hours later at 1 AM on Monday:

GFS model maximum wind gust forecast for 01:00 on Monday October 28th 2013

GFS model maximum wind gust forecast for 01:00 on Monday October 28th 2013

The nearest automated weather station to my current location is over on the other side of the Teign Valley at Bridford. It is currently reporting the calm before the St. Jude Storm:

The Bridford Met Site reports a maximum gust of 32 mph so far today

The Bridford Met Site reports a maximum gust of 32 mph so far today

We'll take another look tomorrow morning (if not before) to see what's been happening to it in the meantime!

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Comments on Extreme Weather Imminent in South West England! »

October 28, 2013

Jim @ 9:33 am

The morning after the night before has arrived, and in this neck of the woods at least rain seems to have been more of a problem than the wind. There are now 12 active flood warnings and 37 flood alerts across South West England:

Across the valley in Bridford the strongest recorded gust of wind overnight was 44 mph:

That was evidently enough to disrupt local electricity supplies, since judging by the state of the assorted electric clocks around the house we were without power for around 1 1/2 hours in the small hours of the morning. According to the Exeter Express and Echo:

Thousands of homes across the Devon remain without power this morning. Western Power spokesman Phil Davies said up to 6,000 homes had no electricity in the aftermath of the storm.

Further East there have been more problems. According to the BBC:

The Dungeness B nuclear power station in Kent has automatically shut down both reactors after power to the site was cut off.

There are now 220,000 homes without power across the UK, after damage to lines from falling trees and high winds, according to UK Energy Networks.

According to David Jones MP on Twitter:

Jim @ 12:25 pm

The BBC are now reporting that:

The Dungeness B nuclear power station in Kent has restarted its reactors using diesel generators after they were automatically shut down earlier due to a power cut.

There are 270,000 homes without power across the UK, after damage to lines from falling trees and high winds, according to UK Energy Networks.

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