4 Jan 2012

More wind and rain on the way

Tuesday’s storm brought widespread disruption across the UK as winds in excess of 100mph battered some areas. Two people were killed by the severe weather and the transport network was hit hard.

There’s been a brief respite, but yet more wind and rain is set to sweep in from the Atlantic during Wednesday.

The cause of this succession of storms is the jet stream – a fast moving ribbon of wind high up in the atmosphere that determines where low pressure systems go and how they develop.

At the moment, the jet stream is very active, with winds high up in the atmosphere at around 30,000ft in excess of 200mph. The jet stream acts as a conveyor belt for the storms and the faster it moves, the more intense and frequent storms tend to be.

The area of low pressure bringing the next batch of wind and rain during Wednesday and into Thursday won’t be as vigorous as Tuesday’s storm, but nevertheless it will pack a punch.

Winds of up to 75mph are possible for western Scotland, and the Irish Sea coasts of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Elsewhere, gusts of 50-60mph could occur.

Although the gusts are unlikely to be as strong as Tuesday’s storm, it’s worth bearing in mind that a lot of trees and other structures will have been put under stress already. As a result even winds of a lesser strength may still cause some problems.

As well as further strong winds, there’s also set to be more heavy rain. Western parts of Scotland, England and Wales will see the greatest amounts of rain, with 30-60mm falling in places – especially across the hills and mountains.

The latest Environment Agency three day flood risk forecast puts the risk of river flooding as low in these areas. However, there is a risk of surface water flooding in places as the heavier bursts of rain move through.

Don’t forget the latest forecast and warnings are available on the website at channel4.com/weather. You can also follow me and tweet pictures on Twitter – @liamdutton.

I used some of your pictures to explain and illustrate Tuesday’s storm, so please feel free to get in touch!

Tweets by @liamdutton