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Saturday, 26 October 2013

England & Wales storms - October 2013

Saturday 26 October 2013

Strong winds and heavy rain are predicted for Sunday night and Monday. The storm could cause disruption across Wales and southern England, according to weather forecasters.

CAUSES

The pressure map below shows what the storm is expected to look like come Monday. The tightly packed isobars show the strength of the wind.

Source: BBC Weather


The Met Office issued an amber alert for wind. In addition, there is also concern that heavy rain could cause flooding on already saturated ground.

It warned people to "be prepared for the risk of falling trees as well as damage to buildings and other structures" caused by strong winds which could reach 80 mph.

This time of year, the jet stream is very powerful. Along this line, a deepening area of low pressure is expected to cause problems, although it should move through quite quickly. Watch the forecast here along with an overview of how the depression is expected to develop here

Source - Sky News
Source - Sky News


More about the expected problems and disruption already caused as preparations are made.

More here via ITV News


Sunday 27 October 2013

Preparations are under way across England and Wales as weather forecasters predict one of the most powerful storms of recent years, now named St Jude, will hit. With heavy rain and winds of up to 80 mph (130 kph) expected, what is the advice for households, motorists and commuters? Find out here

The Met Office have reiterated the risk as the Amber warning remained in place. Along with the strong winds, flooding is anticipated, with the Environment Agency providing advice on how to prepare for the risks here



The Met Office also issued the following advice about preparing for the stormy weather:

What to do in severe wind
Source: metoffice.gov.uk

In Wales, the Environment Agency have been out in force clearing culverts of fallen leaves so that they can cope with the expected heavy rainfall - reducing the risk of flooding: VIDEO. Council workers have been sent out to cut down some trees and have prepared sand bags in case the flood risk materialises. Find out more here.

Insurance firm AXA has put together a list of tips to keep yourself and your property safe during the storms tomorrow:

  • Put together an emergency kit in case you're stuck in your home - you could include waterproof clothes, non-perishable food, bottled water and any medication that you take
  • Have a battery-powered radio for local alerts
  • Keep your mobile phone fully charged - and make sure you have useful numbers that you may need
  • It's always a good idea to keep important documents, including insurance policies, upstairs in your home or at a high level, preferably in a waterproof container
  • Make sure you know how to shut-off gas, electricity, oil-fired heating and water, even in the dark
  • Sand bags, flood sacks, door guards and air brick covers can also stop or slow water getting into your home. A good DIY store should stock these items.


Flood alerts issued by the Environment Agency have slowly increased throughout the day as a storm is due to hit parts of England and Wales tonight and into tomorrow morning. There are now 62 flood alerts in place, which requires people to be prepared across the UK.

Source - Environment Agency

Sky News Live updates here

EFFECTS

Monday 28 October 2013



By Monday evening, the storm had led to four confirmed deaths - amongst them, a teenager in Kent and a man in Watford, both killed by falling trees.






Around 600,000 homes were without power as trees and wind brought down power lines, while rail services across much of southern Britain had been cancelled as high winds bought down trees, with Network Rail reported that over 100 trees had been blown down across tracks. As a result, the West Coast, East Coast and Midland main lines were all blocked at their southern ends, leading to the cancellation of many services. Consequently, many commuters were unable to get to work. All services were also suspended on the Anglia route.




Network Rail said the damage was "worse than expected," while 130 flights were cancelled at Heathrow airport.


The Met Office said a gust of 99mph (159km/h) was recorded at Needles Old Battery, Isle of Wight, at 05:00 GMT.

STRONGEST WINDS

1)    Needles Old Battery, Isle of Wight – 99mph
2)    Langdon Bay, Kent – 82mph
3)    Isle of Portland, Dorset – 81mph
4)    Andrewsfield, Essex – 79mph
5)    Odiham, Hampshire – 78mph

MOST RAINFALL

1)    Otterbourne, Hampshire – 50mm
2)    Wychcroft, East Sussex – 45.4mm
3)    Cardiff – 44.8mm
4)    Hurn, Dorset – 42mm
5)    Wiggonholt, West Sussex – 37.2mm


A fallen tree is thought to have fallen and caused a gas explosion in London, killing two people. This led to the collapse of three houses and damage to two others.



As a result of the disruption to power, the Dungeness B nuclear power station in Kent automatically shut down both reactors as a safety precaution.

Coach blown over in Suffolk

The high winds led to the closure of many bridges. On the M25, the Queen Elizabeth II bridge (Dartford Crossing from Essex to Kent) closed early on Monday morning. The
M48 suspension bridge (Severn crossing) was closed, as was the M4 Second Severn crossing, which was closed from 3am. As a result, many people travelling faced long delays due to the diversions.

More details


How does it compare?
Much has been made about the comparison between this storm and the Great storm of 1987.

BBC News

How exactly did it compare? Find out more here


Sources: 
BBC News; The Met Office; The Environment Agency; ITV News; AXA Insurance; BBC Weather; Sky News; Mail Online; Euro News; Channel 4 News

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