Wind analysis – 9 February 2020

I notice that the Met Office unsurprisingly have just noticed a gust of 97 mph at the Needles old battery for yesterday. Please bear in mind that the old battery anemometer sits atop a 393 foot chalk cliff, on top of a 30 foot coastguard lookout building, and just for good measure on top of a 30 foot anemograph tower on top of that, and is severely exposed to winds from points east through to west. Having said that the strength of the winds yesterday were not to be sniffed at and incredibly storm Ciara has now been re-christened ‘storm of the century’ by the Daily Express. Yesterday’s yellow warning was justified for most places across the UK, but rather miraculously not in Lewis, Orkney or Shetland where the low tracked across.

Gusts of Beaufort force 10 or higher

The area of the amber warning (inland gusts of 60-70 mph) was pretty good, although parts of East Anglia, central southern England and the Midlands didn’t catch any. There were also landward gusts in this range at a number of stations in Scotland which were in excess of 60 mph that weren’t included in the amber warning, and were above the 50-60 mph in the yellow warning. This is probably to do with impacts and maybe had to do with population density or local property prices.

Gusts of 60 mph or higher

The chart of gale hours I always think gives the best picture of just how windy it’s been and with this one you can see that storm Ciara affected places on mainland Europe just as much as it did on the IONA.

Gale Hours (10 minute mean speed >=34 kts)

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