UK winter storms 2013/14

By: taistelutipu , 7:30 PM GMT on February 12, 2014

Due to recent events I won't be adding to the previous series but blog about the current severe weather events in the UK.

Today, 12 February 2014 the UK Met Office has given the highest warning level 'red' for the approaching winter storm Tini (not a joke, that is really how they named this one!). They have not issued a red warning for over a year so this is a rare occasion. In the morning wind gusts of up to 107 mph were predicted and by 3 pm, the official weather station in Aberdaron recorded a gust of 106 mph, followed by 108 mph and 104 mph in the next hours.

Since 3 pm the North Wales coast has been battered with hurricane force winds, sustained winds between 75 and 80 mph with gusts up to 108 mph. These winds have brought down countless trees which blocked roads. So the Twitter feed of the County Council was on fire, updating the travel news practically every minute, as you can see below.

Travel disruptions were reported frequently on the BBC and North Wales Police authorities, informing residents of North and West Wales of cancelled bus services and closed bridges. The main bridges connecting the isle of Anglesey to the mainland were closed after 3 pm, after a reckless lorry driver ignored the closure signs (cars were allowed to travel at 20 mph, high sided vehicles were banned) and was turned over on the bridge.

Tweet by the Police:
North Wales Police ‏@NWPolice 3h

Unfortunately a wagon driver has chosen to ignore the closure on the Britannia Bridge. Officers are currently at the scene.

My friend in Aberystwyth on the West Coast reported at 2 pm that three trees came crashing down right in front of her office window. An hour later, she said that all bus and train services were cancelled in her area and that she faced a night in her office. Thankfully, the company chartered one last bus to leave Aberystwyth and she got home safe and sound.

At the same time, my friends started posting pictures on Facebook of storm damage around their houses, roof tiles blown down onto the streets, hitting cars, concrete pillars toppled over, fences blown away, trees coming down. In Bethesda, the stand in the football stadium was blown onto the A5 and the road was blocked for a while.

Tweet by the council:
Gwynedd Council ‏@CyngorGwynedd 3h

Arfon area: A5 Bethesda - take care; damage to the football stand.

The met office recorded a warning video which outlined the events of today. Thanks to barbamz who pointed out the following video to me:

The BBC chose very stark words to describe the current crisis: UK storms: 100mph winds hit in 'almost unparalleled natural crisis' The article begins with a video showing the hurricane like conditions, triggering sand storms on the coast and bringing torrential rains to the plains and snow and sleet to the highlands.

Winds gusting over 100mph are lashing parts of the UK in what the assistant chief of the defence staff describes an "almost unparalleled natural crisis".

It comes after the Met Office issues "red warnings" for north-west England and Wales, meaning there is a "risk to life" with widespread damage expected.

Power to thousands of homes has been cut off and transport has been disrupted by the hurricane-force winds.

Sixteen severe flood warnings remain for Berkshire, Surrey and Somerset.

Assistant chief of the defence staff Major General Patrick Sanders, who is coordinating the armed forces response, described the floods as an "almost unparalleled natural crisis". Read more

By now, more than 87,000 households are without power in Wales, more than a quarter of a million in Ireland, plus 18,000 in England. This comes on the back of a bad series of storms and severe flooding in large parts of South England and South and West Wales. The most poignant graphic of the article was down at the bottom where they show a map of Wales and England with all affected areas highlighted in Yellow and Red. Wales is not as densely populated but the areas in England, south of Bristol, Reading and Oxford are a different story. On top of that, the Thames threatens a large area in the South East as well. This is going to be another billion dollar disaster for Dr Master's list.

This is storm number 8 to hit the UK since Christmas. The jet stream has been stuck in a pattern which favours a more Southern trajectory of storm systems coming across the Atlantic. Usually, only 2-3 would be hitting the UK during the transitional period from late fall to winter. In winter, they would miss us to the North.

I would like to make a series about the relentless battering that SW England and Wales have been taking for 2 months now. I hope that I find the time to do that.

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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2. PlazaRed
10:02 PM GMT on February 12, 2014
Thank you for your information here.
I have crossed the bridge into Anglesey many times in the past and I am familiar with the general area.

I think that this year is probably going to go down in history as the year when people in the laid back islands of the UK woke up to their vulnerability to the elements and storms which may be on the increase in future years.
Once again thank you for writing this piece.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1. VR46L
9:55 PM GMT on February 12, 2014
It has been terrible since before Christmas ,there are at least another two over the next week . The Jet stream being so far south is increasing the problem .
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:

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About taistelutipu

MA in French philology and translation science, PhD in German literature and intercultural studies, interested in tropical weather since 2005.

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Elevation: 160 ft
Temperature: 44.4 °F
Dew Point: 36.0 °F
Humidity: 72%
Wind: 4.7 mph from the South
Wind Gust: 4.7 mph
Updated: 5:34 PM GMT on February 24, 2017

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