Ship tracks in the Irish Sea

Figure 1

Some good ship tracks in the sea fog visible in the latest satellite images of the Irish and Celtic sea this morning (fig 1), well they certainly look like ship tracks to me, even if R S Scorer thought that there were a rare phenomenon back in 1967. Perhaps the increase in size of these massive ULCV container carrying ships has something to do with it? Any light breeze hitting the side of one of these monster ships (fig 2) could only really go up I would have thought, and carve some kind of furrow though the fog.

Figure 2 – The Vasco de Gama which ran aground of Southampton on the 22 of August 2016 – Courtesy of Maritime Photographic

In a midday visual satellite image from NASA (fig 2), it appears that the Holyhead to Dublin ferry may have left a ship trail, although it looks like it may have drifted a little in what breeze there is across the Irish Sea (fig 3 & 4)

Figure 3
Figure 4

Curse of the black pearl

Figure 1

The models captured the development of the low called Pearl very well as it deepened and tracked E’NE, and it’s all set to spoil the rest of the weekend with its rain and cloud especially across the southeast of the country. The low almost seems to be developing a black pearl like centre as it spirals round just southwest of the Scillies but that’s probably my over active imagination (fig 1).

Estimated rainfall totals since 18 UTC yesterday are starting to mount up across the southwest, with the first lime green pixels appearing over the Lizard and Bodmin moor (32-40 mm), I’m not sure whats wrong with the radar across the Celtic Sea though (fig 2).

Figure 2

“Tomorrow is a dry fine day for most of us, there is a risk of a shower”

Good old David Braine, we’ve had more showers first thing this morning (fig 1) than we saw all day yesterday!

Figure 1

Hopefully I can get the washing hung out by the end of the morning as the showers finally die out and the upper cloud from low Pearl rushes in this afternoon. I guessed at the central pressure of 1016 hPa, but I can see that the pressure has just started to fall at weather buoy ‘Pap’ so Pearl has engaged the jet stream (fig 2).

Figure 2

Frontolysis and the front that refuses to die…

Figure 1 – Courtesy of the Met Office

Another classic series of forecast charts from the Met Office this morning with another front that refuses to die (fig 1). The front in question tried to cross the country yesterday as a cold front, and at the moment is returning northward as a warm front pushed northward by continental air. It’s set to make another attempt to introduce cooler Atlantic air on Thursday and Friday as it undergoes frontolysis.  This front seems likely to become a real fly in the ointment in the next few days, forecast to be sprawled through the heart of an anticylcone by Saturday and spoil the first decent spell of weather we’ve had this spring.


I must admit that models seem to have handled the clearance northward of the cloud from that frontal system extremely well (fig 2) from what I could see looking through the Velux windows in our attic bedroom this morning!

Figure 2

Sunny south coast

A fascinating visible satellite image this lunchtime from NOAA is showing sunshine right along the south coast of England from Sussex in the east to Cornwall in the west (fig 1). Once again, the demarcation zone is a little too far to the south of us here in mid-Devon so the sun has still to break through here. We missed out last week when the cloud edge was aligned south-north with the clear skies to the west, all I can think is that it must be down to that uplift in Willand. Convection has broken out across Cornwall and south Devon and I notice an isolated shower on the radar at 13 UTC.

Figure 1 – Courtesy of EOSDIS and NOAA

Haar Haar

Figure 1

Apologies for the title, I just couldn’t resist it, because its such an awful dreich day down the east coast this morning with temperatures close to 5°C and extensive low stratus and haar (fig 1). The air temperatures correspond closely to the currently observed sea surface temperatures I mentioned in the article about negative North Sea SST anomalies earlier this morning. It’s mixed fortunes weather wise, because meanwhile on the other side of the North Sea in Denmark its blues skies all the way although it’s still quite fresh for early April. Here’s a chart of the relative humidities at 08 UTC this morning (fig 2) to see just how soggy we are on windward side of the North Sea.

Figure 2

The sky won’t rain and the sun won’t shine

Apologies to the Eagles and adjusting a line from the lyrics of their song Desperado for my title, but they seemed to be a fitting description for the weather this Sunday morning across our part of Devon. The laser CBR at Exeter airport says that the layer of alto-stratus across eastern Devon is at 14,ooo feet (fig 2), as the rain across Dorset is marching steadily north-northeast, and the edge to the medium level cloud is quite stark across west Devon, most of Cornwall look to be having a lovely morning.

Answers on a postcard please

Figure 1

The two vortices (or should that be the two vortexes) in this mornings 09 UTC visible satellite image caught my eye (fig 1), because funnily enough they do resemble a pair of eyes. I can see that the one to the southwest of Ireland is connected to the surface low (Gabi) which looks to have a minimum central pressure of around 982 hPa (fig 2).

Figure 2

The more prominent of the two which is sat in the Celtic sea has me stumped though. You would have thought that it was connected to some upper level feature because the clouds spiralling around it look a lot thicker extending to medium or upper levels, but it’s certainly not at the 700 hPa level (fig 3). Answers on a postcard please to the usual address.

Figure 3 – Courtesy of weatheronline.co.uk

Low Carola just misses K1

Figure 1 – Courtesy of NASA

Low Carola came very close to passing directly over the weather buoy K1 this lunchtime by the look of the visible satellite image (fig 1) and the plotted observations (fig 3).

Figure 2

The gradient ahead of Carola was very tight, but it was even tighter behind it, with K1 reporting storm force 10 northwesterlies with a mean speed of 53 knots with gusts to 70 knots at 14 UTC – now that’s what you call a storm!

Figure 3