Saturday, 10 September 2011

Hurricane Katia - Weather Warning

Hurricane Katia – Weather Warning

Hurricane Katia started out as a category one hurricane, which will dissipate to a large scale low pressure system as it approaches the UK and Ireland, due to the lack of heat in the North Atlantic in comparison to its origin. Many parts of the UK are therefore likely to experience strong to damaging gale force winds that could exceed 90mph in some places, with stormy features throughout Sunday and Monday at present, and as originally forecast in the autumn update last week. The regions at risk of the most disruption at present include many parts of Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Northern England, although most if not all of the UK is at the risk of severe gales. There is also a high probability for very heavy rainfall across many parts, with the potential for flooding in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and many coastal regions. If an update is required due to any major changes then one will be posted, in the meantime it would also be advisable to keep up to date with local and national weather warnings.

A very interesting article I also came across on Katia in the link below, features John Cangialosi from the US National Hurricane Center, who said it would change from a tropical storm to a "classic wintertime storm" by the time it reached Scotland.

Now a “classic wintertime storm” to me generally consists of SNOW or ICE in American and English terminology. Any UK snow in September would certainly raise a few eyebrows, whilst also exceeding my expectations of early snowfall in October and November.

Based on the meteorological credentials of John Cangialosi and his terminology of “classic wintertime storm”, I decided to give his comments some further thought, and snow is not actually an impossibility, if that is what he means, although he may just be referring to the characteristics incorrectly?

However, extratropical cyclones from cooler atmospheric conditions and cyclone tilting, allow cool air to be drawn into the circulation, and the low pressure system transitions from warm to cold.

So could we see snow in Scotland and other parts of the UK from this severe bout of weather? and is this what John Cangialosi means? Only time will tell as to how things will develop, but his statement does make scientific sense if the scenario unfolds as I explained, and the conditions are right.

James Madden (UK Long Range Forecaster)

Published: 10
th September 2011 (07:21) BST
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