A look back at Monday's UK storm
BBC Weather's Louise Lear looks back at the track of Monday's storm, which swept rapidly across the south of the UK.
As authorities in the UK continue to survey the damage caused by Monday's powerful storm, the question for many is where did this storm come from?
The energy for this storm came from two sources; the first, a large temperature difference between two parcels of air over the Atlantic, the second a particularly strong jet stream. Where these two came together, we saw enough energy to create this storm from what, on the satellite picture from even a couple of days ago, looked like a harmless patch of cloud.
Was Monday's storm a hurricane?
The simple answer to that is no. We don't, and indeed can't, get hurricanes in the UK.
What's the difference?
One of the common factors in all storms is that they need energy in order to generate and then sustain them. This energy comes from a variety of sources. Hurricanes are what are known as 'warm core' systems and obtain their energy from warm oceans. The temperature needs to be greater than 26 degrees Celsius. So if for no other reason, we cannot get hurricanes in the UK - our sea temperature doesn't get near 26C.
What about wind speed?
Most places in the south of the UK experienced a gale as this storm came across the country. A gale is defined as when wind speeds are sustained at more than 39mph but less than 46mph. For some, this was a severe gale, with sustained winds of between 47mph and 63mph. Hurricane force winds need sustained winds greater than 74mph.
So how does it compare with recent storms?
What hit the south of the UK on the morning of 28th October was a deep and powerful low pressure system which, while unusual and with some severe impacts in places, was not unheard of. Similar Atlantic storms come along every few years. In common with many of the more powerful storms, the areas seeing the worst damage have been where a sting jets has occurred.
What is a sting jet?
A sting jet is quite rare and certainly doesn't occur in every storm system. It is a small area of particularly strong winds which occurs to the rear of a low pressure system. The sting jet comes about when a tongue of cold, dry air from way up in the atmosphere gets wrapped up in the storm system and plunges rapidly to earth. As it descends it accelerates and brings strong winds to the surface. These winds can reach speeds of 100mph and more.
Modern day weather models have enough skill to predict the possibility of a sting jet. It then comes down to careful analysis of imagery and observations to identify that one is happening.
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