Oct 26

Cold blast for much of Europe in the last days of October!

Temperature anomaly map of Europe for October 30. Blue and violet hues represent colder weather than average, orange and red hues warmer. Much of central Europe, including France, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary as well as large parts of the Balkans / southeastern Europe will be up to 7-10 °C colder than average! Map indicates air temperature at 850 mbar level. Map: Tropcial Tidbits.

A major outbreak of cold arctic airmass over much of Europe north of the Alps and well into southeastern Europe as far south as Greece is coming.

Latest model guidance indicates three successive cold blasts from the north: the first, relatively weak one coming across N-CNTRL Europe tomorrow, the second, major one rapidly pushing across the northern Atlantic into NW and CNTRL Europe on Sunday and Monday and a third one following in the second half of next week. They will combine into an extended period of cool weather with temperatures well below average for this time, particularly for central, eastern and southeastern Europe for much of this weekend and most of next week. Expect locally frost and morning temperatures near zero or even below!

Also expect significant snowfall along the northern flanks of the Alps and Carpathians as persistent northerly flow results in stau effect.

Oct 19

Met Office: Storm Brian to arrive this weekend

Picture: MET OFFICE

An intense low-pressure system that is forecast to affect southern Britain on Saturday has been named as Storm Brian by Met Éireann.

The Met Office’s Irish partner took the decision earlier today to issue an Orange warning for some parts of Ireland on Saturday because of expected impacts across the Irish Republic. Under the collaboration between the Met Office and Met Éireann a storm will be named when it has the potential to cause an amber/orange or red warning.

Image: Met Éireann

Today the Met Office updated their Yellow wind warning for strong southwesterly winds on Saturday from 4am covering parts of southern and western England and South and West Wales. Currently the Met Office has no plans to issue an Amber wind warning for any part of the UK, but the situation will be under continual review.

Chief Forecaster Dan Suri said: “Storm Brian is expected to bring strong winds to southern and western areas early on Saturday morning. The first and most significant land-based impacts will be in the southwest of Ireland, hence the Amber warning from Met Éireann. At the moment, we don’t expect the same level of impacts for the UK.

“As we go through Saturday morning and early afternoon the strong southwesterly winds affecting the South West will transfer east and slowly change direction as they will become westerly towards the end of the warning period.

“Gusts exceeding 50 mph are expected widely within the warning area, with gusts of around 70 mph along exposed coastal areas. These are expected to coincide with high tides, leading to locally dangerous conditions in coastal parts.”

Before it makes landfall, the system is undergoing explosive cyclogenesis far out in the Atlantic. However, by the time it reaches Britain and Ireland this phase is expected to be complete and it will be a mature, deep low, bringing strong winds with the potential to affect travel over the weekend. The Met Office and Met Éireann will continue to review the situation ahead of the system’s arrival.

As the system is expected to bring strong gusts during Saturday, there is the obvious potential of risk to travellers. RAC spokesman Pete Williams said: “Drivers encountering high winds are advised to reduce their speed, ensure they hold the steering wheel firmly and be prepared for sudden gusts, debris and even fallen branches in the road.  Allow plenty of room between your vehicle and the next and take extra care when overtaking cyclists, motorcyclists and lorries as they are susceptible to being blown around easily by side winds.  Be extra cautious when driving on exposed roads, high ground and across bridges where again sudden gusts can blow you off course.

“When you reach your destination consider parking safely avoiding trees, overhanging telephone wires and things which could represent a falling danger.”

The strongest winds in coastal areas, gusting up to 70mph, are expected to coincide with high tides, leading to potentially dangerous conditions for local coastal communities.

Alison Baptiste, National flood duty manager for the Environment Agency, said: “Strong winds are expected across southern England on Friday night and into Saturday. Some coastal floodingis possible along the south and south-west coasts of England, especially around the times of high tide, with large waves, spray and some overtopping of coastal defences.

“We urge people to stay safe along the coast and warn against putting yourself in unnecessary danger by taking ‘storm selfies’ or driving through flood water – just 30cm is enough to move your car. Environment Agency teams are on the ground checking defences and taking precautionary measures such as closing tidal gates.

“We’re working with partners including the Met Office and local authorities to monitor the situation and are ready to respond as necessary.Where necessary we will issue flood warnings and alerts. You can check whether you’re affected at www.gov.uk/flood.”

Under the guidelines of the storm naming collaboration, an Amber wind warning triggers the naming process. Storm Brian will be the second named storm of the season, following Aileen which affected parts of the UK on 12–13 September 2017.

The system is typical for the time of year and it has developed mainly as a result of a contrast in temperatures either side of the jet stream, with cooler temperatures to the north and warm temperatures to the south. Ex-Ophelia which affected Ireland and Britain on Monday and Tuesday had a different origin as it developed from a hurricane in the tropical Atlantic. Therefore, Ophelia’s original name was continued rather than using the next predetermined name from the UK and Ireland’s storm-naming process.

Oct 15

OPHELIA NOW TAKING AIM ON IRELAND – EXPECTED TO BECOME A POWERFUL POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE BY TONIGHT

Hurricane Ophelia is centered this morning about 475 miles (765 km) east of the Azores and about 965 miles (1550 km) south-southwest of Mizen Head, Ireland. Ophelia is moving toward the northeast near 35 mph (56 km/h). On the forecast track, the center of Ophelia will approach Ireland on Monday.

Residents in Ireland should refer to products issued by Met Eireann, https://www.met.ie/ and residents in the United Kingdom should refer to products issued by the Met Office – https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 105 mph (165 km/h) with higher gusts – category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some additional weakening is expected today and on Monday, but Ophelia is forecast to become a powerful post-tropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds as it approaches Ireland on Monday.

Gale-force winds are expected to begin across southern Ireland by early Monday morning and gradually spread northward across the country during the day. Hurricane-force winds are expected to reach the southern portions of Ireland by Monday afternoon and spread inland across the country into Monday night. Preparations to protect lives and property should be rushed to completion by this afternoon. Wind speeds atop and on the windward sides of hills and mountains are often up to 30 percent stronger than the near-surface winds indicated in this advisory, and in some elevated locations could be even greater.

Ophelia is expected to produce rainfall amounts of 2 to 3 inches (50 mm to 75 mm) with isolated totals near 4 inches (100 mm) through Tuesday across western Ireland and Scotland. Across eastern Ireland, rainfall amounts will average around 1 inch (25 mm) or less.

A dangerous storm surge is expected to produce significant coastal flooding near and to the east of where the center makes landfall. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.

Oct 14

OPHELIA BECOMES A RARE CATEGORY 3 HURRICANE SOUTH OF THE AZORES -THIS IS THE SIXTH MAJOR HURRICANE OF THE 2017 SEASON

Hurricane Ophelia is centered as of 11 a.m. AST about 220 miles (355 km) south of the Azores. On the forecast track, the core of Ophelia will pass to the south and southeast of the southeastern Azores by tonight. Tropical-storm-force winds are possible throughout the Azores beginning this afternoon or tonight, primarily due to an approaching cold front. Ophelia is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 1 to 3 inches over the central and southeastern Azores through Saturday night.

Satellite data indicate that the maximum sustained winds have increased near 115 mph (185 km/h) with higher gusts – a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Ophelia is a quite intense and rare hurricane for its location in the northeastern Atlantic. Increasing shear and cold waters will soon begin to impact Ophelia, and the hurricane should begin to acquire extratropical characteristics in about 36 hours or sooner. Although some weakening is anticipated, Ophelia is expected to reach Ireland and the United Kingdom on Monday as a powerful extratropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds.

Direct impacts from wind and heavy rain in portions of these areas are likely, along with dangerous marine conditions. For more details on the magnitude, timing, and location of impacts from post-tropical Ophelia, residents in Ireland should refer to products issued by Met Eireann, https://www.met.ie/ and residents in the United Kingdom should refer to products issued by the Met Office – https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/

Oct 10

THE SOUTH AFRICAN WEATHER SERVICE: Severe thunderstorms wreak havoc in Gauteng on 9 October 2017; further warnings for KwaZulu Natal and Eastern Cape on 10 October 2017

10 October 2017 Severe thunderstorms with heavy downpours, strong damaging winds and large hail, hit parts of Gauteng and surrounding provinces on the afternoon of the 9th October 2017. Areas that were most affected were the West Rand District, City of Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipalities. There were also 2 sightings of tornadoes in Ruimsig (adjacent to Roodepoort and Krugersdorp) and Eloff, near Delmas (Mpumalanga). Other provinces affected were the eastern parts of North, West, eastern Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo. Extremely large hail (golf ball to tennis ball size) was also reported near Krugersdorp. Elsewhere in the Free State, a tornado was also observed near Bethulie yesterday.

Extensive damage to property was reported, which included the Cradlestone Shopping Mall in Roodepoort, where a roof partially collapsed, as well as numerous formal and informal dwellings which were completely destroyed. This resulted in more 100 people being displaced from their homes. Some roofs were ripped off residential dwellings and small office complexes in Krugersdorp and Roodepoort. Major roads were also affected by the flooding and resultant debris that were caused by the storm. At this stage, one death has been reported as well as a number of injuries.

Weather System
On the 9th October 2017, a line of thunderstorms developed east of a cut-off low pressure system which was situated over the western parts of the country. These storms developed through the central parts of the central parts of the North West and northern Free State, and then started moving eastwards. Due to prevailing favourable conditions (including abundant low-level moisture and strongly *sheared airflow in the lower portion of the storms), some of these storms developed into supercell thunderstorms. Supercell storms are the most intense class of thunderstorm and are characterised by a deep rotating updraft, are generally very long-lived (a lifespan of a few hours) and are associated with some sort of severe weather (one or more of large hail, tornadoes, strong winds and urban flooding) in at least 90% of cases. (*wind shear occurs when there is a marked change in wind speed and/or wind direction, across a short vertical distance)

Guidance issued by SAWS
The South African Weather Service issued a watch on Sunday afternoon (for Monday) for severe thunderstorms in places over the eastern parts of North West, eastern parts of the Free State, northern and central parts of KwaZulu-Natal and in places in Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga. This was upgraded to a warning on Monday afternoon as thunderstorms moved into the province from the west. These warnings were also carried extensively on social media channels of Twitter and Facebook.
A severe thunderstorm warning is issued by the South African Weather Service when a thunderstorm is expected to be associated with one or more of the following severe weather criteria*;
• Hail of greater than 19mm diameter. Alternatively, large amounts of small hail
• A tornado
• Wind gusts of 50 knots (93 km/h) or more
• Heavy downpours leading to localised urban or flash flooding

*This is closely aligned with international practise, particularly with respect to USA as well as Australia
Upcoming expected severe weather
The weather system that caused this weather has now moved to the east and most of the areas affected by yesterday’s storms can now expect predominantly sunny weather. There is however still a warning for heavy rain over KwaZulu-Natal (we have already received report of heavy rain and flooding in and around Durban) and eastern parts of the Eastern Cape before the weather system moves off the country later today (Tuesday). Thunderstorms are expected to return to the country on Saturday.
The South African Weather Service will continue to monitor further developments during this period and will issue subsequent updates as required. Furthermore, the general public are urged to regularly follow weather forecasts on television and radio. Updated information may also be accessed on www.weathersa.co.za as well as via the South African Weather Service Twitter account @SAWeatherServic

Oct 07

HURRICANE NATE CONTINUES MOVING RAPIDLY OVER THE CENTRAL GULF OF MEXICO

Hurricane Nate is centered as of 4 a.m. about 345 miles (550 km) south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, moving toward the north-northwest near 22 mph (35 km/h), and this general fast motion is expected to continue through tonight. A turn toward the north is forecast on Sunday morning, followed by a turn toward the north-northeast thereafter. On the forecast track, the center of Nate will move across the Gulf of Mexico today and will make landfall along the central U.S. Gulf coast tonight.

Hurricane Warning is in effect for Grand Isle Louisiana to the Alabama/Florida border, including metropolitan New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain. A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for Morgan City, Louisiana, to the Okaloosa / Walton County Line , Florida, including the northern and western shores of Lake Pontchartrain A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Lake Maurepas, west of Grand Isle to Morgan City, Louisiana and east of the Alabama / Florida border to the Okaloosa/Walton County Line. Along the northern Gulf Coast, hurricane conditions are expected in the hurricane warning area tonight, with tropical storm conditions expected to begin earlier. Tropical storm conditions are expected in the tropical storm warning area tonight. Hurricane conditions are possible in the hurricane watch area tonight and tropical storm conditions are possible in the tropical storm watch area tonight and Sunday.

The water is expected to reach the following heights above ground if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide: Morgan City, Louisiana to the mouth of the Mississippi River…4 to 6 ft; Mouth of the Mississippi River to the Alabama/Florida border…5 to 9 ft. Alabama / Florida border to the Okaloosa/Walton County Line…4 to 6 ft; Okaloosa/Walton County Line to Indian Pass, Florida…2 to 4 ft; Indian Pass to Crystal River, Florida…1 to 3 ft

Maximum sustained winds are near 80 mph (130 km/h) with higher gusts. Some strengthening is possible before Nate makes landfall along the northern Gulf coast. Another reconnaissance plane will investigate Nate soon. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles (205 km). Cabo San Antonio in the western tip of Cuba reported gusts to 53 mph (85 km/h) a few hours ago.

Sep 27

LEE BECOMES THE FIFTH MAJOR HURRICANE OF THE 2017 SEASON

NHC has upgraded Hurricane Lee to a major hurricane. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 115 mph (185 km/h) with higher gusts – a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles (150 km). Slow weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours.

Lee is centered over the central Atlantic Ocean about 485 miles (780 km) east-southeast of Bermuda and about 1765 miles (2845 km) west of the Azores. Lee is moving toward the northwest near 7 mph (11 km/h) and this motion is expected to continue today. Lee should turn to the north on Thursday and
accelerate to the northeast on Friday. It is not a threat to land.

Sep 21

MARIA’S LARGE EYE (40 nautical miles in diameter) PASSING OFFSHORE OF THE NORTHEASTERN COAST OF THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Hurricane Maria is centered as of 11 a.m. AST about 105 miles (175 km) east-northeast of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, and about 155 miles (255 km) southeast of Grand Turk Island. Maria is moving toward the northwest near 9 mph (15 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue through tonight. A turn toward the north-northwest is forecast early Friday, with that motion continuing through early Saturday. On the forecast track, Maria’s eye will continue to pass offshore of the northern coast of the Dominican Republic today, and then move near or just east of the Turks and Caicos Islands and Southeast Bahamas tonight and on Friday.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to Puerto Plata, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Southeast Bahamas. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the Dominican Republic west of Puerto Plata to the northern border of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and west of Cabo Engano to Andres/Boca Chica. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the Central Bahamas. Hurricane and tropical storm conditions continue across portions of the Dominican Republic. Tropical storm conditions are expected to begin in the Turks and Caicos Islands and Southeast Bahamas later today, with hurricane conditions expected tonight or early Friday. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the Central Bahamas beginning late Friday. Strong gusty winds are still possible today over portions of Puerto Rico, especially in heavier rainbands that are moving over the island.

Data from an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds remain near 115 mph (185 km/h) with higher gusts. Maria is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some strengthening is possible during the next day or so. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles (95 km) from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 150 miles (240 km). The minimum central pressure based on aircraft data is 960 mb (28.35 inches).

Sep 19

MARIA BECOMES A POTENTIALLY CATASTROPHIC CATEGORY 5 HURRICANE…THE EYE AND THE INTENSE INNER CORE IS NEARING DOMINICA

Hurricane Maria is centered as of 8 p.m. AST about 15 miles (25 km) east-southeast of Dominica and about 40 miles (70 km) north of Martinique. Maria is moving toward the west-northwest near 9 mph (15 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue through Wednesday. On the forecast track, the core of Maria will move near Dominica and the adjacent Leeward Islands during the next few hours, over the extreme northeastern Caribbean Sea the remainder of tonight and Tuesday, and approach Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands Tuesday night and Wednesday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 160 mph (260 km/h) with higher gusts -a category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some additional strengthening is possible tonight, but some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles (205 km). The estimated minimum central pressure based on Air Force Hurricane Hunter data is 925 mb (27.32 inches).

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Guadeloupe, Dominica, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat, U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Culebra, and Vieques. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion. Hurricane conditions should be spreading across Dominica, Guadeloupe, and Martinique during the next few hours, with tropical storm conditions already occurring over portions of the Leeward Islands. Hurricane conditions should spread through the remainder of the hurricane warning area tonight through Wednesday. Interests elsewhere in Hispaniola should monitor the progress of this system. Additional watches and warnings may be required later tonight or on Tuesday.

Sep 12

Met Office: Storm Aileen has officially been named

Storm Aileen is the first storm to be named since this seasons names were released last week and it will bring strong winds to central parts of the UK.

A deepening area of low pressure will bring very strong winds across much of England and Wales during Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning. An Amber National Severe Weather Warningis in place, warning of gusts of 55-65 mph in particular across parts of Cheshire, Lancashire, Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire.  Gusts up to around 75mph gusts could also be possible in exposed locations such as the coast and hills in these areas.

A Yellow weather warning for rain is also in place for parts of Northern Ireland, Northern England and Southern Scotland which warns of 30-40mm of rain falling within 6-9 hours which could cause some disruption.

Chief forecaster Frank Saunders said: “Storm Aileen is expected to bring strong winds of up to 75mph to a central segment of the UK and an Amber weather warning has been issued. As well as the strong winds, there will be some heavy rain pushing eastwards overnight which could see accumulations of 30-40mm. The low pressure system that is bringing these strong winds will move fairly swiftly from west to east over the UK and although there will still be some disruption through Wednesday morning, the winds will ease by the afternoon leaving a day of blustery showers.”

Richard Leonard, road safety spokesperson at Highways England, said: “We’re encouraging drivers to check the latest weather and travel conditions before setting off on journeys, with strong winds expected from Tuesday evening until Wednesday morning. In high winds, there’s a particular risk to lorries, caravans and motorbikes so we’d advise drivers of these vehicles to slow down and avoid using exposed sections of road if possible.”

There has been some speculation that this weather is being driven by the severe weather in the Caribbean and US. There is no such connection. Met Office Deputy Meteorologist Chris Tubbs said: “There are no links between the very strong winds we expect to see here in the UK and the hurricanes affecting the United States and the Caribbean at present. This system originated well north in the Atlantic Ocean, independent of the current Caribbean hurricanes”.

As Storm Aileen clears out eastwards into the North Sea, the UK will be left with cool showery conditions through the end of the week and into the weekend. The showers will still be blustery on Thursday with the winds easing as we get closer to the weekend. Within the showers there will be some periods of brightness although it will still feel cool across the whole of the UK with top temperatures only reaching 18-19°C