4 Feb 2014

What to expect from the next #ukstorm

In my blog yesterday, I wrote that there are no signs of the weather settling down anytime soon, with yet more rain and gales set to arrive on our shores.

As the jet stream zips across the Atlantic, five miles up, travelling at around 200mph, vigorous area of low pressure are being spawned and then catapulted towards us.

The next storm is due to arrive later on Tuesday and will continue to affect the UK through Wednesday as well, bringing the likelihood of more disruption.


Storm structure

The storm is already well formed and sitting to the south west of the UK, as the EUMETSAT satellite picture above shows.

If you look at the cloud, you can see signs that this is a vigorous area of low pressure. There’s a clear central point, around which cloud spirals extensively.

Also, it has a clear comma-like shape which is an indication that the low pressure is structured well and continuing to deepen, as a fast-moving jet stream sucks air upwards from above, allowing pressure to fall at the surface.

Heavy rain

As the storm moves in, there will be a main band of rain on Tuesday night, followed by further bands of showers or longer spells of rain during Wednesday.

The greatest amounts of rain will fall in southern and western parts of the UK, with 20-40mm expected. Elsewhere, 10-25mm of rain is more likely.

With the ground saturated and river levels still high, there’s a risk of surface water and river flooding.


Severe gales

Another hazard that the storm will bring is gale or severe gale-force winds, with gusts of 70mph, locally 80mph, expected around coasts and hills in southern and western areas.

Inland and elsewhere across the UK, gusts in the range of 40-60mph are likely.

Winds of this strength will have the potential to bring down trees, so transport disruption is possible.


Coastal flooding

The severe gales mentioned above, combined with high tides, will bring a significant risk of coastal flooding to the south coast of England during Tuesday night into Wednesday.

The Environment Agency map below shows that there’s a medium risk (orange) of flooding in this area, with that rising to a high risk (red) for Dorset, where coastal flood defences have been weakened in previous storms.z_3day_floodrisk_wp

Additionally, there’s a low risk of coastal flooding for the coasts of Wales as well as the areas around the Firth of Clyde in Scotland.

Don’t forget you can get the latest forecast for your area on the Channel 4 Weather website. I’ll also be posting updates on Twitter – @liamdutton

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