Rather bizarrely the Met Office finally did get round to issuing a fog warning at 1546 UTC this afternoon, even though visibilities had been less than 100 M all day in the areas that the warning was intended for. It seems to me that someone else is reading these missives of mine other than my 23 regular subscribers…
Here for example are today’s observations from Yeovilton. The visibility was no better than 200 M all day and the maximum temperature was only +0.6°C, so for much of the time the fog could have been freezing.
These observations from as close as 3 miles away at Exeter airport show how visibilities had been reported by the AWS as 100 M since 0900 UTC in the morning, ironically they improved at 1600 UTC as the warning was finally issued.Meanwhile at Chivenor in North Devon they had also had been reporting fog since 0500 which persisted all day with visibilities 100 M or less for much of that time.
I don’t know what’s going on at these places but surely the aviation bench must have been pushing out TAF’s in the southwest with fog in them and issuing warnings to various authorities, obviously forecasters don’t do much in the way of interacting or looking out the window these days. The fog didn’t need to thicken up I’m afraid, it had been there all day in Devon, Somerset and west Dorset.
We live with a mile and a half of the M5 and at the moment (2.30 PM) we have a visibility of around 100 M. I have been retired for almost 5 years now, and in that time I’ve never seen fog as thick as this persist as it’s done today in Bradninch. I would have thought that the Met Office would have a warning in force this afternoon of fog for drivers on the motorways and roads across East Devon, Dorset and Somerset. But the warnings board on the Met Office website is as you can see completely blank.
So how thick does fog have to get before a warning is issued by the Met Office?
Interesting question, obviously the answer is thicker than 100 M, or they would already have a warning in force to cover a motorway and busy regional airport…
Courtesy of the Met Office
With the wind warning they issued yesterday, the Met Office didn’t quite make the 70-80 mph gusts on mainland UK as far as I can see. The highest gusts that I’ve seen from the SYNOP reports are from this morning’s gale at Langdon Bay in Kent of 59 knots (68 mph) and from experience of last years named storms, the threshold for amber is a gust of 70 mph (60 knots) or more as far as I know. I’ve ignored the 73 knot gust on Guernsey by the way, because for some strange reason (and I may be wrong) I don’t think that counts because the Channel Islands aren’t technically part of the UK. But I’m sure that the Press office at the Met Office have been frantically scurrying around this morning, so that shortly we will find that there was a gust to 75 mph on the Needles and everything will be fine. But as far as I am concerned even though it was a windy night for a while on land, and even though there was a severe gale running in the channel (force 12 at time) – null points.
Rain is another matter, they definitely were on the right track here, with a forecast of 20 to 30 mm and locally 40 mm. There was indeed a large area of 20-30 mm as you can see in my rainfall analysis for Angus, but the locally 40 mm should have read 60 mm or possibly a little higher. So they slightly underestimated the extreme rainfall totals but pretty good otherwise.
No warnings out for the weekend just yet, but I’m sure that they’ll be issued shortly…
there obviously leaving it to the day shift!
A gust to 73 knots (84 mph) that has just occurred at Shawbury is quite high for an inland station. It occurred on a sharp trough as it passed the station in the preceding hour. As you can see it’s a fairly windy day across most of the west with some gusts to gale force.
The Met Office may have had a warning for storm force gusts in force earlier in the day for Shropshire, but not when I just looked.