Return of westerly wind brings relief to sea birds

It makes quite a change to report that westerly winds are most likely to dominate our weather for the rest of April, after what has been a very long spell of easterly winds, which lasted through much of February, March and early April.


The change is all down to the Jet stream which in the last few days has moved back to its normal position for the time of the year.


The persistence of the cold easterly wind has been especially noticeable along the east coast, which has at times been battered by heavy seas and gale force winds.


According to the RSPB, at least 1000 sea birds, including Puffins, Guillemots and Razorbills, have died in East Yorkshire alone because of the extreme weather conditions throughout March and the beginning of April.


Normally these birds would have be returning to their cliff colonies at Bempton, Flamborough and Filey, but it’s thought because of the strength and persistence of the easterly wind in the last few weeks, they have been unable to safely land.


This has meant they’ve spent long periods of time out at sea, eventually becoming too weak to fly, causing them to drown.


The RSPB believe it’s the worst bird-loss situation along the Yorkshire coast for half a century.


With westerly winds expected for much of the rest of April, returning sea birds will now be able to safely nest in the cliffs.


Climatologically, the weather for the rest of April will be close to average; eastern and southern areas will have the least rainfall, with northern and western areas seeing the most.


It will be very windy at times especially this week, but a ridge of high pressure should mean Friday and much of the weekend is largely settled, with some sunshine and generally lighter winds.


If you want to see more on how the weather has affected Yorkshire’s sea birds, Phil Connell will have a report on BBC Look North tonight (East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire version).


And don’t forget the weather show on BBC Radios Leeds, Sheffield, York, Humberside and Lincolnshire at midday Sunday 21st April, which this week will come from the Met Office at Linton on Ouse.


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