Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wild Storms Keep Hitting Britain

Enormous waves approach the coast of Scatness, Shetland,
Scotland amid the intense storms. Photo by Shetland
Resolve, via the Daily Mail.  
The weather is much, much quieter than usual for mid-winter in the United States this week, but no so in Great Britain and other parts of northwestern Europe.

That super fast Atlantic jet stream I talked about last week is still quite active, and it's generating a series of fast-developing storms that keep whalloping Great Britain with hurricane force waves, very nasty coastal storm surges and waves, flooding rains and snow.

It even brought up a weather term I'd never heard before. It's called a "string jet."

Mashable explains:

"Such features, which involve cold, dry air descending rapidly from high in the atmosphere can lead to areas of damaging winds topping 100 mph in some cases, and are occasionally seen in rapidly intensifying storms in and around the UK." 
An overturned car on a snowy road this week,
Crickhowell, South Wales. Photo by Nathan Thorne,
Wales News Service.  

One wave of storminess hit northern parts of the UK Tuesday night and early Wednesday with snow, ice and rain, shutting down schools and snarling travel.

After a brief break today, things will get worse. Mashable again:  

"Widespread airport disruptions are expected from Dublin to London on Wednesday night and Thursday, as the winds peak. High seas will curtail ferry service, with computer moels projecting wave heights of at least 43 feet along the west coast of Ireland and the UK on Thursday."

Already, things are a mess. The Daily Mail had a litany of weather woes to list, including snowy, treacherous roads in Scotland and Wales, flooding through much of Great Britain, and huge waves pounding the coastlines.

A small tornado was even reported, wrecking a garage in northwest London.   
At least the snow was pretty in Wales.
Photo by Wales News Service  

This latest bout of extreme weather comes after a storm brought winds of up to 113 mph in Scotland last week, arguably the strongest wind gust on record for that area, and certainly the strongest since 1970.

Here in the United States, the U.S. East Coast has not seen a big storm in the past few weeks.

There have been some rather intense cold waves in the nation, and some storminess, but nothing that extreme.

Don't get smug, though. Some long range forecasts call for quite a bit of East Coast storminess toward the end of this month.

Preliminary forecasts indicate maybe some frigid air coming toward the end of the month could end up even more intense than the cold blast that swept much of the eastern two thirds of the nation last week.

Back in Britain, here's a scary video of an oil platform off the coast of Scotland getting battered and bounced in the huge waves:

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