WESTERN EUROPE: Big Storm With Big Impact May Be Followed By Snow Event Thursday

Written by on December 9, 2014 in Rest of Europe, United Kingdom & Ireland with 5 Comments

Obviously most of us are on the hunt of winter weather and the focus is mainly medium to long range but I thought it’s best to focus on the upcoming 72 hour period given the severity of winds we’re likely to face. Is this impending storm unusual for the UK? No but it will bring potential damage and disruption is a given on land, sea and air.

TOP IMAGE CREDIT: magicseaweed.com

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Before we get into the storm situation, I want to throw back up the CFSv2 week 3-4 chart. If that block occurs like it currently shows then it’s off to the races in terms of a persistent, locked in cold, snow pattern for Western Europe. That’s a great position to have a strong blocking high. Completely shuts down the Atlantic and has winds coming in from the north, northeast or east!


Also notice the high hooks up with another core centred over Alaska and right across the pole. This would favour a Siberian source flow towards Denmark, Low Countries and UK as well as Ireland.

Why would this make sense?

Remember what was shown yesterday.




Look at the way the GFS has the polar vortex rolling like a bowling ball off the pole, into the N Atlantic and then shoots across to Eurasia. Is this seeing a sudden burst of warmth better known as a sudden stratospheric warming event? That’s the model seeing something big, but it’s still a little far out just like the CFSv2 weekly is but nonetheless it’s eye-catching and exciting. Let’s hope it’s right.

Big storm

Ok, so we’ve got a low that’s ultimately ‘bombing out’ off the SE tip of Greenland, caused by the clash of two very conflicting air masses and a jet stream racing at nearly 200 mph. We’ve got a wet, blustery day today but into tonight AFTER the leading front pushes through and a secondary feature follows and it’s behind it that we squeeze the isobars and by sharpening the pressure gradient of nearly 1040mb near the Azores verses 945 near Iceland, a span of roughly 1,500 miles. That’s not as big distance for that kind of gradient and because of that tight squeeze, powerful winds blow trying to counteract the gradient.

Credit: AccuWeather Pro

Credit: AccuWeather Pro

The reason for the anticipated huge waves is the twofold scenario of hurricane-force wind and the fetch in which these winds cover an area pretty much from Greenland to the shores of the UK. By the time they get close to the UK, many waves will have built up to between 40-50ft. Don’t be surprised to hear rig reports of 60-70ft waves off Scotland tonight or tomorrow.

Check out this wave height forecast graphic from magicseaweed.com. I know there’s no key as to what colours represent wave height but the black represents 48ft or higher!

Credit: magicseaweed

Credit: magicseaweed

Here’s the anticipated 10m wind gusts.

I expect widespread gale/severe gales with gusts 70-90 on the coast, 40-60 widely inland across Scotland, much of Northern Ireland and N England. Mountain top gusts may top 140 mph!

Credit: AccuWeather Pro

Credit: AccuWeather Pro

Credit: AccuWeather Pro

Credit: AccuWeather Pro

Credit: AccuWeather Pro

Credit: AccuWeather Pro

Low Level Snow Thu-Fri?

On top of all this wind we’ll get, we’ve SNOW to contend with thanks to another low pushing in Thursday. This will increase the chance of LOW LEVEL snowfall as some reinforcing cold air gets pulled down from the arctic on the backside.

Credit: AccuWeather Pro

Credit: AccuWeather Pro

Credit: AccuWeather Pro

Credit: AccuWeather Pro

Check out how cold the air is at 850 immediately following the low’s passing. Low enough thicknesses to support snow to near sea level.

Credit: AccuWeather Pro

Credit: AccuWeather Pro

ECMWF sees plenty of snow cover even through the Glasgow-Edinburgh corridor Friday night/Saturday. COLD WEEKEND ahead!

Credit: AccuWeather Pro

Credit: AccuWeather Pro

See video for more!

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5 Reader Comments

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  1. Mark Vogan says:

    That’s a test to check if your reading.. 😉 the ‘u’ and ‘i’ are right beside each other. sorted!

  2. garry says:

    “Completely shits down the Atlantic and has winds coming in from the north, northeast or east!” lol

  3. chris_grubb1982@hotmail.com says:

    Lol, that will be some interesting weather. Not looking forward to clearing my driveway if S*** happens

  4. Julie Grey says:

    Was thinking the same! That would be far worse than snow!!!! Lol

  5. Barefoot Rob says:

    Think you need to edit the following sentence – “Completely shits down the Atlantic and has winds coming in from the north, northeast or east!”

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