Is Humberto on the way to the UK?

At its most powerful Humberto was measured as a Category 3 Hurricane, but after leaving Bermuda and heading in to the cooler waters of the North Atlantic its intensity has waned.

Media reports have suggested that Humberto will reach the UK, bringing strong winds and heavy rain early next week. Is the story as simple and straightforward as that? As you may have guessed: no, not really.

Now as an ex-tropical system- heading north-eastwards across the north Atlantic, the former hurricane has become heavily modified to a point where it is now become wrapped into a new low-pressure system which only owes some of its origins to Humberto. Its influence will still be felt early next week when the low-pressure system approaches the UK, helping to push the current area of high-pressure eastwards, signalling an end to this week’s pleasant conditions.

Hurricanes heavily influence the climate of the north Atlantic by drawing up moist air from the tropics. By the time they reach our shores, they often only provide a boost to home-grown low-pressure systems – they are actually an important mechanism for redistributing temperature. The waters of the North Atlantic are too cold to sustain the vast energy demands of a hurricane in full force, so by the time they reach our latitude they have lost their tropical ferocity and have frequently become heavily modified.

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