Last night, a deep area of low pressure moved across southern England and is now weakening as it continues eastwards.
As expected, the system brought heavy rain and widespread northwesterly gales across south Wales and southwest England. Severe gales were experienced locally in more exposed areas with wind gusts of 60-70mph, locally higher.
Wind gust speeds midnight to 3pm Wednesday 9 March:
|NEEDLES OLD BATTERY||ISLE OF WIGHT||82|
|ISLE OF PORTLAND||DORSET||69|
|SCILLY: ST MARYS AIRPORT||ISLES OF SCILLY||63|
Rainfall totals were in the order of 20-30mm with as much as 40mm possible once the rain clears later today. These figures are consistent with our forecasts and the severe weather warnings issued yesterday.
Rainfall totals 10pm Tuesday 8 March to 10am Wednesday 9 March:
|WINCHCOMBE, SUDELEY CASTLE||GLOUCESTERSHIRE||35.4|
|PERSHORE COLLEGE||HEREFORD & WORCESTER||34.6|
|ASTWOOD BANK||HEREFORD & WORCESTER||31.2|
|NORTHAMPTON, MOULTON PARK||NORTHAMPTONSHIRE||31.2|
A full impact assessment has not yet been completed, but the information gathered so far show the wind impacts to be of a level consistent with the yellow warning for low impacts issued yesterday.
Interestingly, the winds overnight were from a cold northerly direction, which is very different to the prevailing southwesterly that make up the majority of our strong winds here in the UK. This may be why the wind today has been more noticeable than normal.
The winds and their impact have generated some interest in southwest England on social media under #stormwithnoname. The Met Office, together with Met Éireann is running a pilot project ‘Name our Storms‘ to help raise awareness of severe weather. Storms are named by the Met Office when medium or high impacts are forecast as a result of high winds. As this weather system was not expected to meet this criteria it was not named.
It’s a fine line this forecasting lark. Does one want to be naming a storm every time one turns up? Public then get so used to it that one could end up with “Oh, it’s only another Storm”. I think lessons will be learn’t from this one, as lessons are learn’t from every storm. On the whole this was an isolated and concise “storm” but I think it’s impact did turn out to be more than low.
It’s a fine line this forecasting lark. Does one want to be naming a storm every time one turns up? Public then get so used to it that one could end up with “Oh, it’s only another Storm”.
Lessons will be learn’t. It was only affecting a small area, and one can’t keep naming every single depression or it’ll get very depressing literally. However, the impact was probably more than the forecasted low. Not by much perhaps but I can appreciated this “storm” was on the fence between low and medium impact when it came to the forecast.
For some time I’ve been saying that naming storms on the basis of their impact will lead to confusion and simply not work. Either name them all or name none. This latest low pressure system was just as potent as Jake or Barney and was probably the first low centre to track across the mainland of the British Isles, just as powerful as Jake was which was no more than a tightening of the flow rather than a discrete low centre as this one was. Many of the named storms just brushed across the outer or northern isles of Scotland and this one in a similar manner just affected the southwest of England and Wales. For further information about the John Doe storm see my blog:
I think it is probably fair to say that the Met Office somewhat underestimated the wind speeds that occurred in Devon and Cornwall. With hindsight, I think they should have named the low as Storm Katie. Though maybe it depends on how you define ‘impacts’ and whether the strongest winds will occur during daytime in populated areas or during the night in sparsely populated exposed locations?
Reblogged this on WeatherAction News.
I give up – why was it #stormwithnoname?
The wind speeds may have been low impact but don’t forget to assess the rainfall and resultant flooding on the London Midland rail line before you conclude that you rightly didn’t name this storm:
Police form human barriers at Euston as flooding causes chaos on Midlands rail routes
If you named all extratropical depressions regardless of the impact of any the weather might have, or better still you stopped naming ‘storms’ completely, you wouldn’t be in the mess that you are in with this one now.
The bizarre thing was that the forecast was spot on and all you had to do was give it a daft name, previous weaker storms such as Barney and Jake didn’t have the same impact that this one has had.
Please remember the pilot is based on wind impacts, so the expected rainfall aspects would not have contributed in any naming decisions.
There had been a lot of humming and hawing for a number of days about the exact track this low would take over the country, and it was already known that it would develop in a explosive cyclogenetic way and was heading towards the southwest of England. With that in mind, I think that if I had been the senior forecaster on duty, I would have erred on the side of caution and just called it Katie !
But isn’t it like getting pregnant whilst drunk at a party? You have to call the baby something once its here…
We West Country residents will henceforth refer to it as Storm Wurzel. 🙂