All in all storm Francis was a bit of a damp squib

HIghest gust >34 knots

By the end of Tuesday the highest gusts inland where generally if not exclusively in the 50 to 60 mph yellow range rather than in the 60 to 70 mph amber category that was forecast. There were only three inland stations to report a gale which I suppose is not too bad for the last week of August but hardly unheard of. All in all storm Francis was a bit of a damp squib but I’m in doubt that the boys down in EX1 will see it as an exercise in precision forecasting. I’m quite sure the Met Office will publish a full quota of highest gusts from as many non-standard stations as they can find to justify Francis being a named storm and the amber strong wind warning they issued. Francis never had that extra zing that storm Ellen seemed to have.

Gale Hours

Corrigendum

It’s been pointed out to me that some of the gusts I reported in my first graphic are incorrect. I have investigated the code that parses the SYNOP observations that I download from OGIMET and found that occasionally the parser fails to process all the 9 groups, and that includes gust values for the last 10 minutes and longer periods. Since the demise of the SYNOP code the only way is to convert the observation from BUFR to SYNOP is to rely on a good convertor, but it can be tricky to accurately convert the information in 9 groups because each country has its own reporting rules. I have added code that hopefully corrects this problem, and have included a chart for yesterday that is accurate – please let me know if it isn’t!

I’ve also left the original chart in place for you to compare, lest anyone think that I’ve been duping them. The updated values don’t make the slightest difference to what I originally concluded, and that is a the amber warning was a little over the top as was the naming of the storm. If you ignore the highest gusts from coastal and hill stations yesterday, the only inland gust above 60 mph in the amber warning area was the 62 kt from Cranwell.

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