A change in the winds

  • Sunshine being replaced by rain and cloud. Picture by: EMPICS Sport/EMPICS Sport

    Showers over the seas. Picture by: Dave Thompson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

  • A change in the winds
    05.07.2014 13:49

    On Wednesday in Spain 35cm of hail fell in around 45 minutes in Almazan, Soria. This freak storm caught locals by surprise damaging 70% of the houses in the town and causing local flash floods. Almazan wasn’t the only place to be hit though, and many areas including Madrid also reported similar exceptional events.

    The hail storms which lasted for such a long period of time were caused by a low pressure system in the south of Spain. The rotation and position of the low brought warm moist air off the Mediterranean into northern areas. This particularly energetic and unstable air mass was accompanied by fresh winds, which helped break thermal layers, allowing towering cumulonimbus to form. The strong updrafts and cloud depths of over 3.7km were the perfect place for large amounts of hail to form.

    Whilst Spain was hit by these freak hail storms Britain found it's self in sweltering heat with a high of 27.7C recorded in Writtle, Essex and an even hotter temperature of 28.7 in the same location the next day. However, the hot periods have been relatively short lived as the high pressure system that had been dominant up to Thursday cleared. More unsettled weather was then able to move into the UK, in the form of a low pressure system descending southwards from Iceland. The deep low pressure system has already swung a secondary low pressure system and rain bearing cold front across the UK reducing temperatures to around average. The low pressure system now looks set to remain near to the UK over the next couple of days, tormenting the UK with the occasional threat of further unsettled weather and rain.  

    With the conditions looking far from settled over the coming week, this could this be the first month in 8 consecutive months to fall below average in regards to temperate. After a mild winter and warm spring, the start of summer has been a mixed affair.

    By: John Griffiths