Super cell (updated)

Figure 1

I reckon this big CB formed over Loudes in the Haute-Loire and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of central southern France this afternoon.

Figure 2 – Courtesy of Blitzortung


I was kindly sent a link to a very interesting article about this big thunderstorm, on a website specialising in reporting about severe weather in France, here are a couple of images from that article.

Figure 3 – Courtesy of Keraunos
Figure 4 – Courtesy of Keraunos

Improved ECMWF maps

Figure 1 – Courtesy of the ECMWF

I’ve never been a big fan of the ECMWF site, for two reasons, the first is that you could never access the URL of the NWP image, so you could never grab it because the URL was never fixed. The other reason was that there wasn’t a great deal of variety in the NWP fields that you could access, and the maps where always very small. Well at least now they’ve improved the mapping, which is now much bigger and clearer, although they still space isobars every five hPa in the European way, rather than the more conventional four hPa. All I can say it’s about time that they put some effort into promoting the NWP they generate on their website, it’s not much progress, and most people in Europe will still use the more accessible GFS model data from the Americans.

Figure 2 – Courtesy of the ECMWF

Of course it’s been announced that the ECMWF data centre is relocating to Bologna in Italy in the coming years. I wonder with Brexit looming, just how long it will be before the rest of the team at Shinfield up sticks and relocate to Italy as well. I wonder what Michael Gove thinks about it, or if even cares.

High of 41.4°C in Córdoba

Figure 1

It looks like it will be another very hot day for mid May in Córdoba, Andalusia Spain, although it may not top the 41.4°C (106.5°F) that it reached their yesterday (fig 1). It looks like temperatures have been on the rise in that part of Spain for the last four days or so (fig 2).

Figure 2

According to the climate information in Wikipedia from the Agencia Estatal de Meteorología, yesterdays maximum of 41.4°C (fig 3) was still a long way short of the existing June all time maximum of 45.0°C.

Figure 3 – Courtesy of Wikipedia

As is fairly typical for Iberia it’s also been fairly sunny in Spain this May, and at the moment Córdoba is also probably the sunniest place in Europe, with over 164 hours of sunshine in the first 12 days of May (fig 4).

Figure 4

Another breezy day across the country

Figure 1

Another breezy day across the country, bright in the south and with an unusual band of cloud in the visible satellite image, its aligned SW-NE and stretches from Cornwall, through Dorset, and into Norfolk. There are some showers associated with it across south Devon, but none elsewhere.

Figure 2

It’s not too different to a similar band that developed on Thursday and stretched from Cornwall NE with a line of heavy showers along it. There’s obviously some kind of geo-thermal hot spot over Cornwall that’s triggered the convection in both events…

Figure 3 – 1445 UTC 8 June 2017


A sense of perspective on the winds from this week’s low

Figure1 – 1615 UTC 6 June 2017 – Courtesy of Met Office & EUMETSAT

I get the feeling from what I’ve read about the strong winds that affected the UK on Monday and Tuesday of this week (5th and 6th of June) that they weren’t considered in anyway severe by most people, but if you step back and look at the daily mean wind speed you will see that the winds were just as strong, or in some cases even stronger than any day in the last six months. Have a look at this chart of mean daily wind speeds for Plymouth (fig 2) to see what I mean, the numbered pink bands represent the four named storms that occurred during this time:

  1. Barbara 20 December 2016 23 – 24 December 2016
  2. Conor 23 December 2016 25 – 26 December 2016
  3. Doris 21 February 2017 23 February 2017
  4. Ewan 25 February 2017 26 February 2017 (Ireland)
Figure 2

Here’s the daily run of winds from Heathrow (fig 3).

Figure 3
Figure 4

And even in the English Channel, as windy a day as any seen throughout the entire winter (fig 5).

Figure 5

So a sustained mean wind speed throughout an entire day in June, can be as high, or even higher than in any of the named storms that occurred in the last Winter. That of course combined with the fact that trees are all now in full leaf, which will increase the chances of impacts from falling trees during the summer months. Here are some events of recent years that occurred in summer across the UK.

Falling trees, or falling branches or boughs from trees kill people each year, and no number of weather warnings of whatever colour will stop tragedies caused by them.

On a lighter note

It’s no wonder that on Tuesday, a tenth of the UK’s power was coming from offshore wind farms, and on Wednesday, which was also breezy and much sunnier, the National Grid reported, that for the first time, over 50% of UK electricity came from renewable electricity. Here’s another take on that news that you might like to read from

Figure 6 – Courtesy of
Figure 7  – Courtesy of

Find the cold front

There’s plenty of orographic rainfall evident in the warm sector across the southwest of England and Wales in this morning’s 0815 UTC weather radar image (fig 1), but you would be hard pushed to find a cold front in the Celtic sea between here and SW Ireland on it though. This reminds me of an almost identical situation that occurred earlier this week.

Figure 1

The cold front is well-marked by the cloud in the visible satellite image (fig 2), it’s just not producing any precipitation at the moment.

Figure 2
Figure 3 – Courtesy of the Met Office

Central Atlantic refuses to warm

Figure 1 – Courtesy of NCOF

No change in the SST in the central Atlantic this month (fig 1), any changes in SST would be very slow anyway, but when comparing it to last September’s chart (fig 2) there is little difference apart from the appearance of a massive negative anomalies at 43N 50W, and the almost complete disappearance of the intense warm clusters south of Nova Scotia in last years chart. If these charts from NCOF are accurate, then I wonder what’s responsible for producing that massive area of violet-coloured negative anomalies SW of Newfoundland? You can imagine that they are mostly responsible for fueling the cooling further that s occurring further east.

Figure 2 – Courtesy of NCOF