Is Hurricane Kirk Heading UK-bound? (Includes Video!)

Written by on August 30, 2012 in United Kingdom & Ireland with 0 Comments

4 Day track of Hurricane Kirk (Courtesy of the NHC)

Now that we have Hurricane Kirk out over the central Atlantic and the fact that it’s intensified, that will help Kirk feel those upper level steering winds and the weakness in the Mid-Atlantic ridge. Certainly looking 4-5 days out it could appear as though Kirk could take a run at the UK by riding over top of the Azores high.

The latest GFS chart does show Kirk making that turn north and then northeast. As it does so, as with all tropical, warm core systems, they transition as they feel the strong upper winds of the jet stream and the increasingly cooler waters. They rapidly become extra-tropical, losing their warm core and become baroclinic, forming fronts and are fuelled by warm/cold air masses rather than warm waters. So the question is, could we get an extra-tropical sideswipe by Kirk later into next week here in the UK?

What’s interesting is that the GFS doesn’t show it catching the jet but rather cut northeast via to steering of the Azores ridge and becomes of this lack of support, the models shows the remnants of Kirk collapsing or is absorbed by the ridge off Ireland by 120 hours which is next Tuesday.

The thing is we have a very active North Atlantic storm train with systems far stronger than the extra-tropical system. Ultimately from what I can tell from the model, Kirk gets defeated by bigger competition so if it has any play in our weather next week, it will be thanks to a piece of it’s energy attaching to a large, pre-existing low riding the jet.

The thing is, hadn’t the jet been as crowed by lows anyway, then we may have seen a once warm core system merge with energy in the baroclinic zone which could have really intensified a system like we saw with ex-hurricane Katia last year, however it seems the comp is too much and Kirk instead decays before reaching the UK. Look at what happened to Hurricane Gordon after swiping the Azores. Without the adequate support in the upper levels, these things dissapate fast.

There is big competition by 108-120 hours as a large 984mb low pushes up towards Iceland. This will sweep fronts into the UK bringing unsettled weather but in the southern half, stronger heights should support sunnier, drier and warmer weather.

Here the latest GFS forecast.

In this GFS chart at 72 hrs you can see Kirk appear on the left of this chart, riding the ridge, not the jet (Courtesy of WeatherOneline)

By 102 hrs (Courtesy of WeatherOneline)

Finally by 120 hrs the GFS has it falling apart with all the concentration of energy on the large storm over Iceland (Courtesy of WeatherOneline)

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