Predict floods and storms with much more accuracy
As computer modelling has become more sophisticated, we’ve learnt how to predict floods and storms and where they’ll hit with much more accuracy since Michael Fish assured us all that there was nothing to worry about back in ’87.
The Met Office seems to be able to pinpoint to the hour where in the UK it will rain tomorrow and whether or not to get the barbeque ready for the weekend. It managed with ease to predict floods and storms for Somerset and the south of England last winter.
It’s easy to see their predictions on the graphics used by the weather forecasters following the news.
One thing missing from the backdrop to the weather forecast is an image or animation of the real driver of all our weather; the northern Jetstream.
Worst floods on record
This is a conveyor belt of high level wind that circulates around the northern hemisphere from west to east and is driven by the temperature difference between the cold air further north in the Arctic and the warmer air further south in the lower latitudes.
The difference in temperature between north and south gives the Jetstream energy, but when the difference in temperature is less, then the jet stream slows down and can wander off course sometimes getting stuck in one position:
This is exactly what happened last winter when southern England experienced extensive flooding with some of the worst floods on record including the threat to London from the River Thames flooding, resulting in the Thames Barrier being closed for some time.
Out over the Atlantic, cold air from the north was pulled down south to meet warm air heading north. This generated wet weather storms that followed the path of the jet stream straight over southern England one after another to cause many rivers including the River Thames, to burst burst their banks resulting in extensive flooding.
We know that the when the difference in temperature is less between air north of the Jetstream and air further south, the Jetstream can get stuck bringing repeated weather systems to the same location.
We know that the Arctic is warming faster than any other part of the planet and has increased in temperature by an average of 4 degrees centigrade in just 30 years.
Could these two factors mean that we can predict floods for the future and will see repeated long spells of weather hitting the same parts of the country for long periods?
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Please browse our site for more information and if the Met Office does predict floods, get in touch for free advice or help. We’re available 24 hours day – every day.