A storm to remember

  • Frank in a initial stage over the Central Atlantic. Credit of the picture: Met-Office

    Frank fully developed over Iceland. Credit of the picture: NASA

  • A storm to remember
    02.01.2016 15:50

    Nasty weather with floods and stormy winds linked to Storm Frank covered the front pages this week.

    Storm Frank brought hurricane force winds. Luckily, these winds remained mainly over the sea and affected just Iceland, pushing warm air into parts of the North Pole. Svalbard, located in the Arctic Glacial Ocean, recorded a maximum temperature of +8.7ºC, breaking the former max temp of +7.2ºC, recorded on 14th December 1995.

    The minimum central pressure reported for Frank is an estimated 928 hPa. As a comparison, this is a similar pressure as some category four or five hurricanes. The strong jet stream over the Atlantic along with warm humid tropical airflow caused the storm to deepen explosively in just 24 hours. Air pressure fell about 36 hPa in 24 hours, so-called “explosive cyclogenesis”, which occurs when the pressure descends 24 hPa in 24 hours.

    On Wednesday 30th December, rain became heavy and prolonged once more over Ireland, Northern Ireland, central and western Scotland, the Isle of Man and the Cumbrian Fells. Widespread flooding occurred, threatening thousands of people and businesses, whilst many roads were underwater across northern England and Scotland, such as the A93 near Ballater. The Clifton Suspension Bridge was closed for the second time in its 151 year history because of strong winds, and a few other bridges collapsed under the pressure of the swollen rivers. Six hundred troops were deployed to assist and help evacuate thousands from their homes.

    Over 75mm of rain fell over some of the western Highlands of Scotland, with locally over 100mm (using radar estimation). The rain affected areas already flooded last month, bringing further misery to many. Towns and cities such as Leeds and York were flooded and power cuts also affected Greater Manchester and Lancashire. Wind gusts reached 126 km/h at Magilligan on the County Londonderry coast and waves of 9 metres hit the Irish west coast.

    Unfortunately, no good news is expected this week as heavy showers or longer spells of rain are likely for much of the week across the UK. We are closely monitoring a deep area of low pressure which will approach the UK with heavy and persistent rain, particularly in the north-west once again and potentially stormy conditions next Thursday. You can keep posted by looking our website and following us on social media networks.

    By: Mario Cuellar