24 December 2013

UK Pounded By Severe Winds. Friday May Be Worse!

Posted by Dan Satterfield

Screen Shot 2013-12-24 at 1.35.47 AM

The storm is the main news in the UK on this Christmas Eve. Click for updates from the Beeb.

A series of powerful storms is crossing the UK and numerical weather models indicate the worst may be on Friday. Some guidance is indicating the pressure at the center of the low may dip to an incredible 930 millibars (that would be about the same as a Category 4 hurricane). The storms are developing as jet stream winds over North America reach near record levels at over 250 knots!! I’ve never seen winds in the jet that high in over 33 years of forecasting.

Below is the latest model runs for Friday, and the worst of the storm appears headed for Scotland and Wales. Still, the entire UK will suffer high winds (perhaps above hurricane force).

GFS Model from Penn State E-Wall

GFS Model from Penn State E-Wall

People in the UK compare storms to the big one in 1987 that was famously not predicted by BBC weathercaster Michael Fish. It turned out to be the worst since King Henry VIII set on the throne, although a storm in the 18th century was also very bad. Winds today may get above 70-80 over the northern parts of the UK, but if the worst case develops on Friday, winds may go above 100. Heavy snow/blizzard conditions in Scotland will continue, and Channel ferries, and rail are severely disrupted.

If you are in the UK, be careful out there!