3 Dec 2015

Another very windy weekend lies ahead

After some very windy weather last weekend, courtesy of Storm Clodagh, it looks like another spell of windy weather will affect the UK this weekend too – courtesy of Storm Desmond.

Storm Clodagh caused travel disruption and brought down a few trees across Ireland and north western parts of England last Sunday, with gusts widely reaching 50-70mph.

Whilst it’s not uncommon to see strong winds at this time of year, the weather pattern has been somewhat stuck in a rut for the past few weeks.

Waves Splashing On Shore During Storm

November hasn’t just been notable for brisk winds. It’s been the dullest November on record for the UK, with just 64 per cent of normal sunshine amounts.

It has also been remarkably mild, with UK mean temperatures (an average of day and night temperatures) 2C above normal – making it the third warmest November on record.

Why so mild, dull and windy?

For much of November, the jet stream has been sitting over or to the south of the UK, which puts us in the path of areas of low pressure.

jetstream_atlantic_WZ_wpThe jet stream, travelling in excess of 150mph at 30,000ft up in the atmosphere, not only forms areas of low pressure, but also acts as an atmospheric superhighway, catapulting them systems towards us.

Autumn is a time of year when the jet stream normally becomes stronger, as the temperature contrast between the cold North Pole and warm equator increases.

The reason for the cloudiness and mildness is that the wind has often been coming from a south westerly direction, bringing moist, tropical air over us – bathing us in warmth, but also a lot of cloud.

Another windy weekend ahead

Friday and this weekend will see more deep areas of low pressure pass to the north of the UK, with very desmond_warnings_MO_wpstrong winds on their southern side that will bring gales or severe gales.

The Met Office has issued a warning that covers Scotland, Northern Ireland, northern England and north Wales, with winds gusting 45-60mph inland, and as much as 70-80mph around the coasts and hills.

This strength of wind will have the potential to bring down a few trees and cause some travel disruption, which is worth bearing in mind if you’re travelling.

An additional concern will be heavy rain and localised flooding – especially for north western parts of the UK, where the ground is already saturated from the recent wet weather.

At the moment, according to the Environment Agency and the Scottish Protection Environment Agency, Cumbria, Northumberland and southern Scotland are most prone, with a medium risk of flooding.

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

Images: Met Office, Wetterzentrale

Tweets by @liamdutton