With cyclone Johanna forecasted as the worst of the 2007-2008 winter for UK and Ireland, I am worried that the proverbial BBC fixation for understatement will leave people unsure on how bad it can really get.
Well, IT CAN BE AS BAD AS ONE CAN IMAGINE…MAYBE WORSE!!!
This is what the BBC Weather warnings page has to say: Sunday 9 March EARLY WARNING An intense area of low pressure is forecast cross the UK on Monday. Both wind and rain will be notable with potential for disruption to transport and power supplies. England and Wales look most at risk at the moment, with gusts of wind up to 70mph, locally 80mph for exposed coasts and hills Further updates will appear here.
There is an article “Flood alert amid storm warnings” but despite the warnings affecting millions of people, it’s not the main story and will be surely and easily missed by most.
They have even managed to give more space to the thoughts of LibDem Leader Whoknows Whatsmyname, and to heavy snow affecting the American Midwest…
But enough of the BBC: Anybody living in England should prepare for extremely awful conditions, and as far as I know the areas around Birmingham and on the west/south coast can be hit particularly badly.
There are several indicators in that direction. For example the Icelandic Weather office expects the following map for Monday (lines close to each other indicate strong winds; and the minimum at the centre of the L is truly and exceptionally low):
Let’s read it from other “experts” too:
(a) From the Met Office:
Issued at: 1110 Sun 9 Mar
Severe Gales 0001 Mon 10 – 0300 Tue 11
The Met Office continues to expect an intense low pressure system to move east across the UK during Monday, bringing severe gales and potentially damaging gusts across some areas, more particularly the west and south of England and Wales. Southerly winds are expected to strengthen during the early hours of Monday to give severe gales for a time, coinciding with the morning rush hour in some areas. An additional swathe of severe westerly gales will follow through the morning and afternoon, principally affecting southwest England and the south coast of England. Gusts of 60 to 70 mph are likely with the possibility of 80 mph gusts on exposed coasts and hills. Disruption to transport and power supplies is possible and there may be damage to buildings and trees. In addition high waves and flooding may affect coastal areas in the south. This warning is likely to be superseded by FLASH messages.
(b) From Metcheck.com:
Give me hope Johanna!
Added : Sun 9 March : 15:50GMT
All eyes are now on Storm Johanna which is set to be the most powerful storm system this Winter to hit the UK.
OK, so how’s the system going to develop and what can we expect? First of all, Johanna is going to have two main parts, the first is the warm front with the heavy rain and strong winds which will sweep East overnight tonight and into Monday. The second is the severe gales which will push into the South-west during Monday afternoon.
A thoroughly wet, windy and miserable start to Monday for many areas. Gales or severe gales will sweep across many Central and Southern areas with winds of up to 50mph inland and even higher gusts which could bring down trees and cause structural damage.
Then a slight lull around Midday as the storm passes over the Irish Sea. Into the early afternoon and the wake of Johanna slams into the South-west with winds of up to 90mph, gusts slightly higher.
The worrying side at the moment for the South-west is the storm co-inciding with the high Spring tides. We are aware that many will want to see the worst of the weather along coastal areas in Devon and Cornwall, however the situation is severe enough to cause loss of life for people who don’t understand the effect of these two components.
Waves of up to 45ft can be expected along the North Cornish coast. This, compounded with high tide around 6pm and the Spring tide at this time of year will result in elevated sea levels and possible breaches of sea defences.
We’ll be following Johanna throughout Monday bringing you the latest on the system, we’ll also be heading to Cape Cornwall to bring updates on the system with real-time images and reports.
Let’s hope all these forecasts and warnings will be shown wrong. But with a little more than seven hours to go before it starts, chances that the weather models are incorrect are very slim.
UPDATE: Weather map for 12:00AM Monday (“landfall” in the UK)