December 10 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Forecasters have been explaining the cause of the gales which tore across Suffolk and north Essex.
Yesterday’s weather saw parts of the region experience some of the strongest gusts anywhere in the country.
Andrewsfield, in Essex, recorded wind speeds of 80mph – the fourth strongest in Britain – with Wattisham in Suffolk experiencing gusts of 76mph.
Forecaster for East Anglian-based Weatherquest, Chris Bell, said the storm had been the worst in more than a decade for many parts of the region.
“Southern parts of Suffolk and northern parts of Essex saw some of the worst weather yesterday,” he said.
“In 2007 there were strong winds for longer durations whereas yesterday saw a lot of damage caused by wind in a 15-20 minute period.
“The storm was because of air coming from the polar regions meeting air from the tropics that are around, bringing a contrast in temperature which helps to generate the big jet streams which can lead to these hurricane-strength winds.” He said Suffolk and north Essex could expect more blustery conditions in the coming days but not to the strength of yesterday’s winds.
Mr Bell said: “At 3pm yesterday it was still very blustery because of the pace the storm was moving. Over the next couple of days there will be showers and it will be colder but certainly most of the worst of the weather will be long gone.”
He warned people to take care over the next few days as weakened branches and trees could still fall because of the storm weather.
Forecasters from the Met Office also said you would have to look back more than a decade through the record books to find a weather system on par with the recent storm.
The storm, which hit in the early hours of yesterday, had peak wind gusts of 99mph in the Isle of Wight and drenched Cardiff with a maximum rainfall of 53.6mm over 24 hours.
The Met Office said it had not been since the early hours of October 27, 2002 – almost 11 years to the day – that the UK has endured a storm of similar ferocity.
That storm hit wind gusts peaks of 102mph – only slightly higher than the most recent weather system.
Capel Curig, in northern Wales, recorded 68mm of rainfall in 24 hours.
“It’s probably the best comparison you’ve got in the past 15 years,” a Met Office spokeswoman told PA.
She said another notable storm with similar strength winds hit the UK in March 2008 but it was difficult to compare because it occurred in a different part of the year.