Weather west to east

  • Darren Clarke on the 18th hole of the Open at Royal St George's, Sandwich, Kent, where sunshine gave no clue to the rain expected on Saturday. Photo: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

    Rainfall totals (left) over the Netherlands in the 12 hours up to 7pm Thursday. The radar image (right) shows a snapshot of rainfall rates at 7pm, including a blob where the instantaneous rate is more than 50mm per hour. Image copyright MeteoGroup

    The forecast path of Typhoon Ma-On, on course for Japan. Image courtesy of the Joint Typhoon Warning Center

    Typhoon Ma-On gathering strength near the Northern Mariana Islands. Image: NASA Goddard/MODIS Rapid Response Team, Jeff Schmaltz

    Heat on the way for the USA and Canada. This shows the Extreme Forecast Index (EFI). The scale runs from -1 to +1, with anything above +0.5 revealing temperatures significantly above climatological norms. The red areas are close to +1, the most extreme possible. image copyright MeteoGroup.

  • Weather west to east
    15.07.2011 14:23


    The UK's weather continues rather cool and unsettled but it has missed the worst of Europe's conditions during recent days.

    Severe thunderstorms and torrential downpours moved across Switzerland and southern France, where in the Midi-Pyrénées region there were egg-sized hailstones and a tornado.

    In the Netherlands there was some fearsome weather as well. A small but intense low pressure system over the southern North Sea gave unusually strong winds for July with gusts of 40 to 50mph even inland, and up to 60mph at the coast right through Thursday afternoon.

    The wind was compounded by very heavy rain which was slow to move through, resulting in accumulations of 50 to 60mm in 12 hours up to 7pm Friday. The UK is going to have some heavy rain itself during the next couple of days with a risk of thunderstorms and hail.

    In Japan things will be worse. Typhoon Ma-On is inexorably deepening near 20 degrees north and directly south of Japan, currently tracking west-northwestwards. It might reach Super Typhoon status through the weekend, with steady winds up to 140mph and gusts of 170mph.

    Early next week Ma-On is forecast to turn north then north-eastwards, coming close to Kyushu and Shikoku then perhaps moving east-north-eastwards across southern Honshu.

    Even though winds will begin to moderate they will still be fierce. If it sticks to that path the typhoon will bring serious damage, a dangerous storm surge, torrential winds, floods and landslides. Tokyo may be right in its path.

    Half way around the globe there are warnings of a different nature. Britain may be lacking much heat but parts of the USA and Canada are going to be excessively hot.

    Temperatures across the Midwest and the Plains often climb to uncomfortable heights during the summer, and this weekend and next week they will surge even higher, well above even the normal levels of roasting heat.

    Maximum temperatures are going to be well into the 30s Celsius and even a few degrees above 40 Celsius, with sweltering nights in store as a large area of high pressure circulates hot and humid air over big portion of the central and eastern USA and Canada.







    By: Stephen Davenport