A little late on getting this story out because I had to do some work on the application I use to analyse wind speeds from the SYNOP observations that I download. Suffice it to say the Met Office were spot on again with this yellow warning for strong winds on Sunday afternoon and evening along the south coast. It’s intersting to see in the plotted chart of extreme gusts how the time of the gust at each station gets later as the feature that caused it ran along the channel. The maximum gust of 69 mph from the regular land SYNOP stations was at St Catherine’s lighthouse on the Isle of Wight with gusts to 78 mph at both the Channel and Sandettie Light vessels.
They did blot their copy book as far as I’m concerned though by mentioning (yet again) in their Twitter feed an extreme gust of 92 mph from the non-standard exposure anemograph at the Needles Old Battery on the Isle of Wight. I can’t understand why an organisation that’s supposedly so careful about maintaining the highest standards in their own observational network continues to advertise spurious wind speeds from the top of a 393 foot cliff.