Stormy end to the week for northern UK
For almost a week now, I’ve been talking about the potential for stormy weather to affect the UK – courtesy of a powerful jet stream above the Atlantic Ocean.
The huge contrast between cold arctic air and warm sub-tropical air off the east coast of north America is fuelling a jet stream that will reach around 230mph in the next 24 hours, 30,000ft up in the atmosphere.
Such a powerful jet stream will not only spawn vigorous areas of low pressure, but also act as an atmospheric highway, firing them our way.
In a fast-moving situation like this, it is extremely hard to pin down the detail too far ahead, but confidence has now increased as to when and where the worst of the winds will be in the coming days.
For the end of the week two potent storms will pass just to the north of the UK – one during Thursday night, quickly followed by another on Friday night.
The first storm, pictured below, will bring damaging gusts of wind to the far north and west of the Scottish mainland, along with the northern and western isles on Friday night.
The second storm, pictured below, will bring another spells of strong winds to northern parts of Scotland during Friday night, slowly easing during Saturday.
Met Office warnings
The Met Office has issued a number of warnings for northern parts of the UK, running from Thursday night to Saturday.
During Thursday night into Friday, a Met Office amber ‘be prepared’ warning has been issued for the far north and west of Scotland.
Here, winds are widely expected to gust 80-90mph for a time, with 100mph for the most exposed coasts and hills – enough to cause structural damage, as well as disruption to transport and power supplies.
Across the rest of Scotland and the north coast of Northern Ireland, gusts of 60-70mph are possible for a time, giving a risk of some localised disruption.
The second storm, for which a yellow ‘be aware’ warning has been issued, will give severe gales to a similar area during Friday night into Saturday.
Gusts are widely expected to reach 70mph, with 90mph possible for exposed coasts and hills – again bringing the risk of further disruption.
As well as the wind, Scotland may also see some localised flooding, due to heavy rain and large waves hitting the coast.
Whilst the rest of the UK will experience brisk winds and heavy rain during the next few days, it is unlikely to be of a disruptive nature.
Weather charts: Met Office