Very strong winds recorded over northern parts of the UK

As forecast by the Met Office, a powerful low pressure system passed to the north of the UK in the early hours of this morning bringing exceptionally strong winds in places.

Two low level stations recorded wind speeds of over 100mph, with the gust recorded at Stornoway being the joint strongest recorded at the site (the other gust at that speed was recorded on 12 February 1962).

While the winds have now dropped significantly, it will stay windy through today in many parts and gusts will increase in strength once again tonight as another low pressure system is set to affect northern parts of the country. You can see detail on this on our forecast and warnings pages.

Below are some of the maxiumum gust speeds recorded during the first storm, between 10pm last night and 9am this morning.

Date and time Station Area Speed (mph)
09/01/2015 04:00 ALTNAHARRA SUTHERLAND 97
09/01/2015 06:00 WICK AIRPORT CAITHNESS 93
09/01/2015 03:00 ALTBEA ROSS & CROMARTY 90
09/01/2015 05:00 KINBRACE SUTHERLAND 87
09/01/2015 01:00 SKYE WESTERN ISLES 86
09/01/2015 07:00 KIRKWALL ORKNEY 86

The strongest wind in England was at High Bradfield, in South Yorkshire, which saw a gust of 76 mph at 1am this morning.

In Wales, the strongest gust was at Aberdaron, Gwynedd, with 76mph at 11pm last night.

For Northern Ireland, the strongest was 70mph at Killowen, County Down, at 10pm last night.

Winds are almost always stronger at our high level weather stations (those that are sited at 500 metres of altitude or higher), which are also often very exposed.  For this reason the winds from those sites are unlikely to reflect what the vast majority of people are experiencing. Bearing that in mind, the strongest gusts from the high level sites are quoted below for reference:

Date and time Station Area Height (metres) Speed (mph)
09/01/2015 04:00 CAIRNGORM SUMMIT INVERNESS-SHIRE 1237 140
09/01/2015 00:00 AONACH MOR INVERNESS-SHIRE 1130 129
09/01/2015 04:00 BEALACH NA BA ROSS & CROMARTY 773 124
09/01/2015 05:00 GREAT DUN FELL CUMBRIA 847 107
09/01/2015 05:00 GLEN OGLE PERTHSHIRE 564 102
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4 Responses to Very strong winds recorded over northern parts of the UK

  1. xmetman says:

    “Two low level stations recorded wind speeds of over 100mph”

    I can only guess from this statement that the other site that exceeded 100 MPH was Loch Glascarnoch. I personally wouldn’t classify Loch Glascarnoch as a “low level site”. I remember it particularly well because its the starting point for a number of Munroes in the area and I’ve walked past the automatic weather station [SAWS], and although its not a hill, and not particularly high at 265 M (870 feet), much of the ground that surrounds it rises well in excess of 500M, in fact Sgùrr Mòr close by to the SW rises to 1110M. The glen that the SAWS sits in lies roughly east/west so that when the wind veered W’ly at midnight it wasn’t surprising that the wind was meaning 54 and gusting to 96 knots as it did at 0300 UTC.

    I’ve put together some charts, tables and meteograms of the observations from Loch Glascarnoch and other places across Scotland for the storm if anyone is interested:

  2. tchannon says:

    “As forecast by the Met Office, a powerful low pressure system passed to the north of the UK in the early hours of this morning bringing exceptionally strong winds in places.”

    What was the date when you first definitely stated there was going to be a severe storm, more pertinently when did you forecast “exceptionally strong”?

    • The first National Severe Weather Warnings were issued on Tuesday 6th January. These warned of gusts of 70 mph quite widely across the north of Scotland and the northern Isles and a risk of 80-90 mph gusts, and gusts of 60-70 mph across much of Scotland and northern parts of Northern Ireland. These warnings were updated daily during the rest of the week. We also published news items highlighting the risk of stormy weather from Tuesday onwards and

      • tchannon says:

        Sorry if I was a bit abrupt, probably a reaction to press office language.

        What seems to have happened is a steady forecast of coastal gales for the southern part of England etc. but then an emergent centre or whatever appeared for the North of England and Scotland with the more or less full extent appearing less than 24 hours before the event, eg. 1600 forecast where the centre passed in the early hours of the following morning. The more extensive effects were then appearing in the forecasts. I agree first light of this change was Tuesday. The timing was changing, cantankerous weather, why you have a tough job.

        Trying to read between the lines, operations were aware something was going on but this didn’t get into the forecasts as well as it might.

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