Cyclone Quartet Straddle the Pacific Ocean

8 08 2014

In the last few days a quartet of tropical cyclones have been active across the Pacific Ocean. For a period of time all four were simultaneously of hurricane intensity (winds greater than 74 mph). This is the first time this has happened in the Pacific Ocean for 12 years. Here we take a look at each of the storms and their likely impact.

Typhoons Halong and Genevieve and Hurricanes Iselle and Julio seen on 7 August 2014 Original images courtesy of University of Wisconsin

Typhoons Halong and Genevieve and Hurricanes Iselle and Julio seen on 7 August 2014
Original images courtesy of University of Wisconsin

Typhoon Halong formed near the US island of Guam and has been active in the west Pacific for over 10 days. It is now heading north towards south-western Japan and is set to bring strong winds and heavy rain this weekend to the area only recently affected by Typhoon Neoguri.

Typhoon Genevieve originated in the east Pacific and for a long time was a weak storm, even weakening to a remnant low pressure area at one stage. However, in the central Pacific Genevieve rapidly strengthened as it traversed an area of warm waters and gained hurricane status. As it crossed the International Dateline Hurricane Genevieve became Typhoon Genevieve. There is no difference between hurricanes and typhoons except that the former is used to describe tropical cyclones east of the Dateline and the latter to the west of the Dateline. Genevieve looks set to end its life as a tropical cyclone in mid-ocean well away from land.

Hurricane Genevieve as it crossed the International dateline and became a typhoon on 7 August 2014.  Image courtesy of US Naval Research Laboratory.

Hurricane Genevieve as it crossed the International dateline and became a typhoon on 7 August 2014.
Image courtesy of US Naval Research Laboratory.

Hurricane Iselle formed in the east Pacific just over a week ago. Iselle was downgraded to a tropical storm just as it made landfall over Hawaii today, but is still bringing strong winds, surf and heavy rain. Tropical storm or hurricane strikes directly over Hawaii are very rare. The last hurricane to make landfall over Hawaii was Iniki in 1992.

Rainfall radar showing Tropical Storm Iselle approaching Hawaii 8 August 2014. Image courtesy of NOAA

Rainfall radar showing Tropical Storm Iselle approaching Hawaii 8 August 2014.
Image courtesy of NOAA

Hurricane Julio is following hard on the heels of Hurricane Iselle in the east Pacific and has become a ‘major hurricane’ with winds in excess of 115 mph.

 

Julio is also heading in the direction of Hawaii, but looks likely to track a little further north than Hurricane Iselle. However, the US state could still feel the affects of Julio as it passes by on Sunday.

Official warnings of west Pacific tropical storms are produced by the Japanese Meteorological Agency . Central Pacific warnings are issued by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center and east Pacific warnings by the US National Hurricane Center. The Met Office routinely supplies predictions of cyclone tracks from its global forecast model to regional meteorological centres worldwide, which are used along with guidance from other models in the production of forecasts and guidance.

Met Office StormTracker provides a mapped picture of tropical cyclones around the globe with access to track history and six-day forecast tracks for current tropical cyclones from the Met Office global forecast model and latest observed cloud cover and sea surface temperature. We also provide updates on current tropical storms via @metofficestorms on Twitter.





Rain totals for 19th July 2014

20 07 2014

As forecast there were severe thunderstorms across the UK on the 19th July bringing heavy rain and gusty winds. See the tables below for the largest rain totals across the UK.  Gloucestershire recorded the highest rainfall with 66mm between 6am and 6pm yesterday, the counties monthly average rainfall is 60.6mm.

The Heat-health watch put in place in parts of southern and eastern England in conjunction with Public Health England has now been downgraded. Temperatures in parts of the area covered topped 28C during 19 July, see table below.

Today, 20 July, temperatures are expected to reach low to mid 20’s across central, south and south east of England, with London seeing around 27C.  Northern England will reach mid to high teens and Scotland and Northern Ireland mid to low teens.

More thundery downpours are expected to develop today over some eastern and central parts of the UK.  A yellow, be aware, weather warning for rain is in place for the areas likely to be affected. Not everywhere will see a storm but where they do occur, torrential downpours are possible with lightning, hail and strong gusts of wind. The areas most likely to be affected are across eastern and southeastern England.

Many places will have a good deal of fine and very warm weather this working week although there is the risk of some heavy showers in parts of the south and west later in the week.

 

UK MAX TEMPERATURE 19 JULY 2014
TIME SITE NAME AREA MAX TEMP (Celsius)
16:22 London St Jamess Park GREATER LONDON 28.5
15:13 Northolt GREATER LONDON 28.4
15:22 Heathrow GREATER LONDON 28.3
15:59 Santon Downham SUFFOLK 28.3
13:29 Gravesend, Broadness KENT 28.1
16:51 Cambridge NIAB CAMBRIDGESHIRE 27.7
15:49 Marham NORFOLK 27.7
13:55 Hampton W Wks GREATER LONDON 27.6
16:52 Writtle ESSEX 27.6
14:51 Frittenden KENT 27.5

 

 

12hr UK RAINFALL 19 JULY
SITE NAME AREA PRECIP. (MM)
WESTONBIRT GLOUCESTERSHIRE 66.0
PERSHORE COLLEGE HEREFORD & WORCESTER 36.4
PERSHORE HEREFORD & WORCESTER 30.8
NEWPORT (SALOP) SHROPSHIRE 29.4
KEELE STAFFORDSHIRE 28.2
ASTWOOD BANK HEREFORD & WORCESTER 27.6
NOTTINGHAM, WATNALL NOTTINGHAMSHIRE 26.0
LIBANUS POWYS 25.8
NANTWICH, REASEHEATH HALL CHESHIRE 22.6
MARKET BOSWORTH, BOSWORTH PARK LEICESTERSHIRE 22.6




First half of July is… average?

18 07 2014

With the recent run of generally fine, dry and warm weather you’d be forgiven for thinking this July so far would be anything but average – but the statistics tell a different story.

The UK mean temperature for 1-16 of the month is 15C, just 0.1C above average. UK rainfall is perhaps surprisingly close to the average too, with 36.3mm of rain making up 46% of the whole-month average – we’d expect to see about 52% of the average by now.

Sunshine is the only measure which is notably above average, with 111.4 hours for the UK which is about 65% of the whole-month average (again, we’d expect about 52% at this point in the month).

These figures might not fit in with how many have perceived this month so far, which has seen a good deal of dry and fine weather.

One possible reason for this is that UK day-time maximum temperatures have been slightly higher than average (19.7C), while the night-time minimums have been slightly lower than average (10.4C). So we’ve experienced warmer days, and cooler nights, which adds up to a very average mean temperature (which includes day and night-time temperatures).

Another reason for the statistics bucking the expectation is because, with the exception of last year, the preceding few summers have been generally a little disappointing.

While last year’s July was drier than average, five out of the six previous to that were wetter than average and three were cooler than average.

So perhaps we feel that the recent fine and dry weather is more unusual than it really is because of recent history.

Obviously it’s far too early to judge how this July will finish overall, with half of the month still to add in to the statistics.

You can explore all kinds of climate information, including monthly summaries back to 2001, and climate data back to 1910, on our climate pages.

  Mean temperature Sunshine Rainfall
1 – 16 July 2014 ** Actual Diff from 81-10 average Actual % of 81-10 average Actual % of 81-10 average
  degC degC hours % mm %
UK 15.0 0.1 111.4 65 36.3 46
England 16.3 0.2 120.2 62 29.0 46
Wales 14.7 -0.3 110.6 62 29.5 32
Scotland 13.1 0.0 101.1 72 50.0 50
N Ireland 14.5 0.1 88.1 63 36.7 45

** Please note these are half month statistics from 1-16 July. The final figures will change once statistics from the second half of the month are included.





May Bank Holiday – Fine and dry for most

29 04 2014

Despite some reports, Met Office forecasters are expecting pleasant weather for many over the Bank Holiday weekend, with a good deal of dry weather, rising daytime temperatures and some spells of strong sunshine at times.

Although air of polar origin moving southwards will cause much colder nights on Thursday and Friday this week, bringing air frost to some northern parts, daytime temperatures are set to recover quickly and most parts of the UK will begin to feel pleasantly warm in the sunshine this weekend.

After a chilly start on both Saturday and Sunday, many places will see dry conditions with clear and sunny periods. The best of the sunshine will be in southern and eastern areas. Some northern and western parts may be cloudier with outbreaks of rain and drizzle. However, where conditions are brighter on Sunday and Monday temperatures should be above average making it feel pleasantly warm.

Although it is too early to be certain, indications are that many parts of the country will have a fine and warm Bank Holiday Monday.

Check our local 5-day forecast for the weather forecast in your area.





Spring has sprung

5 03 2014

Warmer, drier weather is on the way for parts of the country.  As we move through the week a north–south divide develops across the UK with Scotland, Northern Ireland, northern England and parts of Wales being changeable and windy. However in the south high pressure will dominate  bringing dry weather for the weekend, with the best of the weather in the Southeast.

Temperatures are expected to reach mid to high teens in the South this weekend (8th – 9th March), while northwest England and Scotland are likely to see spells of strong winds and rain and there is a risk of overnight frosts.

This is in sharp contrast to the record breaking winter we have just experienced.  It was the wettest winter for the UK, England, Wales and Scotland, and the second wettest winter for Northern Ireland in the record series dating from 1910. It was the stormiest UK weather for 20 years with at least 12 major winter storms affecting the UK in two spells from mid-December to early January, and again from late January to mid-February.

For a time early next week the temperatures are expected to return to nearer normal, or slightly above, the average for the time of year (9 °C).  High pressure is again expected to dominate through next week leaving largely settled conditions it should continue to feel “spring like” with some sunshine around and light winds.

When does Spring start?

Meteorologically speaking spring stretches from 1 March to the end of May. Astronomically, spring typically starts on the day of spring equinox, around the 20 March in the Northern Hemisphere.

Weather in spring is often calm and dry with temperatures rising in the day but staying cool at night.





UK snow depths Saturday 26 January 2013

26 01 2013

As forecast, further snow fell across central, northern and eastern parts of the UK yesterday and overnight. The latest snow depth observations as of 0800 this morning for the UK are below. Redesdale Camp in Northumbria has the highest snow depth so far this year with 33 cm recorded.

Location Area Depth (cm)
Redesdale Camp Northumberland 33
Eskdalemuir Dumfriesshire 30
Albemarle Northumberland 25
Spadeadam Cumbria 25
Aboyne Aberdeenshire 20
Bingley West Yorkshire 20
Little Rissington Gloucestershire 18
Leek, Thorncliffe Staffordshire 16
Nottingham, Watnall Nottinghamshire 12
Leconfield Humberside 11
Strathallan Airfield Perthshire 11
Church Fenton North Yorkshire 11
Wittering Cambridgeshire 10
Sennybridge Powys 10
Andrewsfield Essex 10
Dyce Aberdeenshire 9
Cranwell Lincolnshire 9
Linton On Ouse North Yorkshire 8
Wattisham Suffolk 8
Scampton Lincolnshire 8
Marham Norfolk 7
Shap Cumbria 7
Leeming North Yorkshire 7
Boulmer Northumberland 6
Shawbury Shropshire 5
Waddington Lincolnshire 5
Rostherne Cheshire 4
Bridlington MRSC Humberside 4
Hawarden Airport Clwyd 3
Glasgow, Bishopton Renfrewshire 3
Coningsby Lincolnshire 3
Bedford Bedfordshire 3
Coleshill Warwickshire 3
Liscombe Somerset 2
Dunkeswell Aerodrome Devon 2
Drumalbin Lanarkshire 2
Hereford, Credenhill Hereford & Worcester 2
Prestwick, Gannet Ayrshire 2
Odiham Hampshire 1

As we continue through the weekend all of us will see a change to milder and unsettled conditions, with further rain, heavy at times pushing east across the UK later on Saturday and into Sunday. A yellow warning of heavy rain has been issued for parts of the UK overnight tonight

The change to milder weather will result in a combination of a thaw of lying snow and periods of rain which inevitably increases the risk of flooding in some areas. The Met Office and Environment Agency are monitoring the situation very closely and advise everyone to stay up to date with the latest weather forecasts, severe weather warnings, and flood warnings.

By thinking ahead we can all be better prepared for severe weather. Throughout the winter, the Met Office works with agencies across the UK to help keep the country safe, well and on the move.





Met Office in the Media: 09 December 2011

9 12 2011

The severe weather that affected much of the north of the UK over the last day or so has just shown how important accurate weather forecasts are in keeping people safe and well. Our forecasts were in deed very accurate and last night Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon said: “The conditions are exactly as predicted when the Met Office issued its red warning.”

Equally important however is clearly communicating our weather forecasts to make sure that the nation knows where and when severe weather will hit and then what the impacts may be.  We work with agencies, such as local and national governments, the police and fire service as well as emergency planners to make sure they clearly know what the weather has in store, but we still need to keep the public informed.

We best do this with our partners at the BBC and ITV, where our weather forecasts reach many millions of people every day. These forecasts over the last few days have been extremely clear, accurate and informative, ensuring we all knew what to expect. Similarly working with national and local newspapers and radio stations across the land the nation was prepared for severe weather when it really mattered.

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Met Office forecaster supports troops with more than just the forecast

1 12 2011

Met Office Weather Forecaster and RAF Reservist, Sqn Ldr Ken Horn made 902 Expeditionary Air Wing history today by cycling a massive 1900km during his three month tour of duty in the Middle East.

The 54 year old Meteorologist, who is often spotted cycling around the Airbase, finished his challenge only a few hours before catching his departing flight home to the UK.

His record breaking prowess is not limited to cycling; having just completed his 63rd deployment (excluding exercises) and been awarded 11 military medals, Sqn Ldr Horn has a wealth of operational experience in locations including Afghanistan, the Balkans and Iraq.

902 EAW has a permanent team of meteorologists from the Met Office Mobile Met Unit who are vital in the accurate forecasting and monitoring of weather conditions for the VC-10, Merlin and Sentinel Force elements operating in support of Op KIPION and Op HERRICK. The local landscape and sudden weather fronts locally mean Sqn Ldr Horns leadership is even more important than ever.

Sqn Ldr Horn was presented with a certificate by Wg Cdr Blackburn, CO 902 EAW today, to mark not only his outstanding achievement on the road, but also his contributions to 902 EAW’s air operations. Wg Cdr Blackburn said “As a trusted and valued Officer, Sqn Ldr Horn is an unsung hero, critical in what we do; we simply could not have delivered our mission without his efforts”.

The full article “902 EAW Met Man Covers 19OOkm” is published on RAF News





Met Office in the Media – 25 November 2011

25 11 2011

There are a couple of interesting articles about the weather in today’s press.

First of all, in the Daily Telegraph, a contradictory story with a headline which claims we shouldn’t “expect a big freeze this Christmas“. The introduction goes on to say the Met Office is predicting “unseasonable weather” – when actually, we are predicting normal weather for the time of year.

The Met Office quote further down the article gives a more accurate picture: “Last December saw a very prolonged period with wave after wave of cold spells and snow, ice and sub-zero temperatures. Rather than that, it looks like we’re in for a mixed, unsettled December this year, with some cold spells but also milder spells.”

To clarify, last year we had the coldest December in more than 100 years. The Met Office forecast for 30 days ahead, which still does not cover the whole month of December, suggests that we are unlikely to see a repeat of the persistent and extreme cold and snowy conditions that we saw last year.

Instead the current Met Office forecast is for much more normal conditions for the time of year, with periods of wind and rain interspersed with colder spells bringing some overnight frost and a chance of snow – mostly over the higher ground in Scotland. As always we will keep the British public warned and informed when severe weather is expected to affect the UK through our 5 day forecasts and our National Severe Weather Warning Service.

There’s also an article in the Daily Express which suggests Scotland will be “blanketed” with snow. There has been some snowfall in Scotland overnight and this morning, but – as forecast by the Met Office – this has generally been on high ground above 400m. We are expecting further snowfalls over the next few days, but again only on the high ground in Scotland.

 





Met Office in the Media: 11 November 2011

12 11 2011

It is has been a busy week for the Met Office in the media this week.  It started with the broadcast of “Will it Snow?” on BBC2 last weekend. This programme looked at the challenges of forecasting severe weather and explained the science of weather forecasting.  The programme, which included several interviews with the Met Office has been positively received across a number of outlets.

On Wednesday, following evidence by Edward Davey to the Science and Technology Select Committee, several news pieces ran on the work of the Met Office and the resources needed to support our world-leading weather forecasting capability. The BBC reported that the ‘Met Office more powerful computers’, whilst others reported on the work we have been doing to explore the use of probabilities in weather forecasts. Regular readers of this blog will be aware of the study we undertook using an online game to explore how people use probability information and others have reported on our use of probabilities of rainfall and temperature range forecasts on our new beta website. The Mail, Telegraph and Yahoo News all reported on this. Mike Hanlon wrote a very interesting piece in his blog about the use of probabilities entitled ‘New weather forecasts show just how far the Met Office has come‘.

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