The 'Beast from the East' bites the UK

During the last week of February and into the last week of March, the ‘Beast from the East’ reared its ugly head and brought severe winter weather to much of the UK, in what was the coldest period for a number of years. The bitter winds drawn down from Siberia were caused by the Sudden Stratospheric Warming event that occurred several days previously.

Video: Forecasting Winter Road Conditions

Peter Gibbs chats to Paul Knightley, Forecast Manager at MeteoGroup, to find out about forecasting winter weather and supplying road weather services to local councils. He then visits the Highways Depot in Berkshire to chat to the Principal Engineer and a Shift Supervisor to find out how those forecasts are used to inform their gritting operations: 

Winter weather & transportation

Snow, ice, wind, storms, floods, fog - the winter season can bring a host of extreme weather which can impact on all transportation networks. As such, there is an obvious need for regular weather forecasts and updates (i.e. for informing gritting routes, applying speed restrictions etc).

Roads and railways are extremely vulnerable to extreme winter weather, yet they are integral to everyday life.

Sudden Stratospheric Warming event

A Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) event has taken place, resulting in the split of polar vortex in two vortices which may impact our weather later this month (there is a lag time between an SSW and the impact it has on UK weather).

A SSW of the atmosphere refers to a rapid rise in temperatures in the stratosphere (which is found at an altitude of 10 km to 50 km) when the temperature can rise by up to 50°C over a couple of days – and this often leads to cold conditions across the UK.

Time for a climate communication audit

By Adam Corner*, Research Director at Climate Outreach, and an Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Psychology, Cardiff University.

Over the last decade, the level of interest in climate change communication has grown rapidly – there’s now a huge number of people, organisations and institutions involved in the theory and practice of public engagement.

Cyclone Gita: Tonga’s worst storm in 60 years

Cycle Gita has hit islands of Tonga in the South Pacific. It is the worst storm to reach the islands in more than 60 years, bringing winds of more than 140 m.p.h.

Gita peaked overnight on 11th and 12th February, battering the main island of Tongatapu, flattening many buildings including a parliament building and bringing down power lines. Gita then picked up pace as it headed towards Fiji, where it hit the Lau Islands south of the mainland as a category 5 storm, flattening several homes and crops.

World weather review: January 2018

Whilst Spain and France experienced temperatures well above the seasonal average, Austria, Northern Italy and some parts of Eastern Europe experienced heavy snowfall for a few weeks in January.  Indeed, on the 5th January, heavy snow cut off a number of alpine ski resorts, including Cervinia in Italy and Adelboden in Switzerland. France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Germany suffered damage and suspended flights as a result of depression Friederike (not named by the Met Office/ Met Éireann) on the 18th January.