Wind Warning

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Good Afternoon,

You will recall from earlier briefings this week that the next wind/rain event was due in tonight and tomorrow. I can now give you a more detailed description on the associated timing and warnings.

· Rain will spread eastwards across all areas from around mid-evening and last for several hours

· However, forecast rainfall totals are rather lower now and across the south of the region the rain will be more intermittent in nature. This morning’s Flood Guidance Statement has kept the whole of the Northwest at Green (very low flood risk) for tomorrow and the Yellow alert for rain that previously covered the northern half of Lancashire and the whole of Cumbria has been removed. Good news, but in Cumbria certainly the susceptibility to surface water from short periods of heavy rain has been well highlighted over the last few rainfall events so we should retain a watchful eye on the radar this evening just in case.

· The main issues with this weather system will focus around the wind. This Atlantic low pressure centre is taking a more southerly track (across the northern half of Scotland) than its predecessors and hence we are more in line to experience the stronger winds. Although they’ll freshen along with the rain later this evening the period of strongest winds will occur during daylight hours tomorrow, well after the initial rain has gone through.

· The main risk period for disruption looks like being pretty much throughout the daytime period. The risk is focussed upon Cumbria and north Lancashire, and with the risk of 60-70mph gusts developing even inland we have issued an Amber warning (medium likelihood of significant impacts) for wind covering Cumbria and for Lancashire north of a line approximately Lytham St. Annes to Slaidburn. The warning text includes the possibility of gusts touching 80mph along the coast and over higher ground. Across Cumbria in particular, there will also be squally showers/spells of rain during the day, thus adding to the discomfort. The rest of the Northwest (with the exception of the extreme south of Cheshire) lies within the Yellow sector and here we should allow for gusts of 60-70mph along the coast and a range of 45-60mph inland, although the south end of Merseyside, together with Cheshire and Greater Manchester, may see only the occasional gust above 50mph with the majority closer to 40mph.

· What does this mean in terms of impacts ? Within the Amber sector expect disruption to travel with speed restrictions on motorways and high-sided vehicles at particular risk of being blown-over on elevated/exposed sections of motorway/road by sudden gusts. There will doubtless be trees blow over and some disruption to power transmission could well result. With town/city centres and out-of-town shopping centres likely to be especially busy in the sales extra care should be taken.

· We should start to see a gradual moderation in the winds from late afternoon through into the evening. Looking on the weekend it looks a kinder picture with appreciably lighter winds, some sunshine but also a few showers. Although the unsettled regime looks set to be maintained into 2014 there doesn’t appear at this stage to be any more severe wind events on the horizon once tomorrow is through.
An update briefing will be issued tomorrow,

Have a good rest of Boxing day,

Alan

Alan Goodman; Met Office Advisor (Civil Contingencies)

Weather update 24-12-2013

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Good morning,

Attention today is on the wind. There is currently a Yellow warning in force for all of the Northwest except for much of Cheshire. However, away from west and north Cumbria (where a gust of 61mph was recorded at 0900 at St. Bees Head) the wind speeds are some way below the levels we were envisaging yesterday and the latest forecast data to hand now suggests a less windy day with a reduced risk of disruption. West Cumbria, and especially the coastal strip, will see the strongest gusts of the order of 60-70mph for a few more hours so still a risk of some disruption to travel and possibly also to power supplies. Further south along the coast gusts of 50-60mph are possible but inland across Cheshire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Lancashire little, if any disruption is expected with wind speeds mostly keeping below 35-40mph. There will be a general decrease in wind strength from mid-afternoon through into the evening which takes us nicely onto Christmas Day and Boxing Day, both of which should be relatively quiet days with light winds, bright/sunny spells and just one or two showers.

A Yellow alert is already in force nation-wide for Friday’s wind and rain. These are due in during the second half of Thursday night, the rain lasting for several hours before being replaced on Friday morning with blustery/squally showers. Some localised disruption to transport and power supplies is possible as a result of the wind with some rainfall-related impacts also possible, especially across Cumbria where the accumulated rainfall totals from the initial rain belt and the subsequent showers will be highest.

There will be revisions made shortly to the current severe weather warnings later this morning (most likely a scaling back of today’s Yellow wind warning and a more targeted wind/rain alert for Friday), these will be communicated as and when they appear.

In the meantime there’ll be no briefing tomorrow you’ll be glad to hear, the next update will be on Boxing Day morning by which time we should have a reasonable fix on Friday’s wind/rain,

Have a happy, relaxing day tomorrow,

With kind regards,

Alan

Alan Goodman; Met Office Advisor (Civil Contingencies)

Christmas Weather Update

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Good Afternoon Colleagues,

Today is one of the ‘quieter’ days with occasional showers affecting mainly Cumbria and Lancashire, wintry on higher ground but not causing any resilience issues.

Tomorrow the next batch of wind and rain will arrive from the southwest to reach all areas by mid/late morning, perhaps preceded by a short spell of snow across the higher ground in Cumbria. Some of the rain will turn heavy, especially across Cumbria and Lancashire, accompanied by a freshening S to SE’ly wind. The rain may well become lighter and more intermittent for a time during tomorrow afternoon/evening but a further pulse of rain could return, especially across the more southern parts of the region, during tomorrow night, before a proper clearance moves in during the early hours of Tuesday. It will remain windy throughout Tuesday, especially across Cumbria and down the Irish Sea coast where gusts of 50-60mph are possible. Occasional blustery showers will feed in on the SW’ly wind and with colder air in place these will be wintry to fairly low levels so the chance of a little sleet/wet snow in any heavier showers during Tuesday.

Having digested the above you might be a little surprised to find that the nationwide Yellow Alert that was posted for Monday and Tuesday has now been significantly trimmed back to focus only on those areas where the weather is expected to have an appreciable impact. Here in the Northwest we are now ‘warnings-free’ over the next few days. This does not necessarily mean we are completely out of the woods as regards impacts from the forthcoming rain/wind, just that any potential impacts are not considered at this stage to merit specific warnings. The forecast, needless to say, remains under constant review and any changes will be communicated to you as soon as possible.

Now an update for Christmas Day/Boxing Day, and still we hold out the promise of some reasonable conditions on both days. The deep low pressure centre responsible for tomorrow’s wind/rain should, by early Wednesday, have moved sufficiently far to the north of the UK to allow the winds to fall relatively light in our region. Wednesday should see a fair amount of dry, bright weather with a little sunshine at times. There is a shower risk but they should be fairly well scattered. It’ll feel a little on the chilly side and any showers could yield a little sleet/wet snow higher up (300/400m). Boxing Day is looking broadly similar, largely dry with broken cloud and some sunshine with relatively light winds and just the odd isolated shower, a good opportunity to get outdoors and compensate for any excesses the previous day.

Remember you can keep right up to date with all the latest developments on the Met Office website,

With kind regards,

Alan

Alan Goodman; Met Office Advisor (Civil Contingencies)