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‘Wacc-y’ Weather in Europe theWeather Club Wed, 28/02/2018 - 14:30

Unusual warming around the North Pole has sent a blast of cold Arctic air across Europe. A rare snow storm hit Rome on Monday and many other parts of Europe are also being blasted by bitter easterly winds from Siberia, including the UK.  

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.

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.

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.

Met Office UK Weather Radar Network Upgraded

The Met Office have completed a £10 million pound state-of-the-art upgrade of the UK’s rainfall radar network.  For the first time the size and shape of raindrops and snowflakes can be captured, as well as wind speed data. These new scientific advancements have not only improved radar coverage but will lead to improvements in the accuracy of rainfall estimates, particularly during high impact weather events, such as flooding.

BBC launch new weather graphics

The BBC launched their new TV weather forecast graphics on their lunchtime news today. This follows a staggered roll out of their new weather app and website graphics over the past couple of weeks.  Over the last year the BBC have been working with their new weather services provider, MeteoGroup, to develop the new graphics – the biggest change in more than 10 years.

Met Office: Five-year forecast indicates further warming

A new forecast published by the Met Office indicates the annual global average temperature is likely to exceed 1°C during the next five years (2018-2022).

It also notes that there is a 10% chance that the temperature could reach 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels (1850–1900) for at least one year during that period. The 2015 Paris agreement requires us to limit warming well below 2°C and to aim for 1.5°C.  

Met Office launches #3wordweather initiative

Slang words such as 'Baltic', 'sad', 'chucking it down', ‘raining cats and dogs’, ‘pelting it down’ or ‘bucketing’ are used far and wide to describe the weather – but the list is extensive and it is regionally variable, which can therefore make it even more difficult to communicate the weather forecast.

A new initiative by the Met Office is hoping to improve its weather forecasts in order to avoid misinterpretation. They need your help to determine, for example, the most popular slang term (per region) for rain and to understand how the public interpret their weather symbols.

River Seine reaches peak in French flooding

The River Seine in Paris rose to four metres above its normal water level for the time of year, peaking at 5.84 m on Monday 29th January.

This was due to weeks of the heaviest rainfall in decades, with the country receiving almost double its typical rainfall for January. Paris received 167.4 mm through the first 28 days of January.

Storm Georgina

Storm Georgina, the seventh named storm of the year, brought strong winds to the UK and Ireland on 24th January 2018.

Gusts up to 85mph were recorded in Scotland. Further south a narrow band of heavy rain and squally winds resulted in gusts in the 50 to 60 mph range, downing some trees and flooding some roads. A landslide was also reported on the A76 between Kirkconnel and Kelloholm in Dumfries and Galloway.