12 Sep 2012

Severe gales to hit parts of Scotland

At the end of last week, I wrote in my blog that the general trend for the weather this week was for it to turn unsettled with brisk winds and rain – something that is still on the cards.

During Thursday into Friday, the remnants of what used to be Hurricane Leslie will pass to the north of the UK in the form of a deep area of low pressure.

Whilst no longer a hurricane, starved of the energy supply from the warm tropical oceans, the area of low pressure will still pack a punch.

The reason for this is that the hurricane remnants have been engaged by the jet stream, which effectively uses the lingering warmth and energy to spawn a mid-latitude storm that has a bit of a turbo boost.

Earlier on this week, there was some uncertainty as to exactly where this area of low pressure would track, but as time has gone on, weather computer models are beginning to give more consistency in terms of the most likely outcome.

The reason that there has been uncertainty in the forecast relates to the interaction of the remnants of the hurricane with the jet stream.

The easiest way to imagine how this works is to think of a train journey which involves changing trains.

If each train runs on time as expected then you get the perfect outcome and you reach your destination as planned. But if one train runs late and you miss the connection, then things don’t work out how you originally thought.

In this case, the former has happened, with the hurricane remnants and the jet stream connecting at the right time, allowing the weather system to flourish and develop some very strong winds and heavy rain around it.

Whilst all parts of the UK will see an increase in wind strength through Thursday and into Friday, it’s northern areas that will see the windiest weather.

Scotland is likely to see gusts of wind as strong as 50-60mph, with some exposed locations around the coasts and over the hills touching 70mph.

Northern Ireland and northern parts of England won’t see winds quite as strong, but nevertheless could see gusts of 45-55mph for a time.

As well as strong winds, there’ll also be some heavy rain affecting Scotland on Thursday, which will weaken and sink southwards across the rest of the UK into Friday.

Don’t forget, you can stay up to date with the latest forecast for your area on the Channel 4 Weather website. You can also follow my updates on Twitter – @liamdutton

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