UK stormy weather ‘unusual but not unprecedented’

Paul Davis, chief meteorologist for the Met Office, explains why the jet brought such stormy weather during the end of last year

The Christmas storms, which were some of the worst in twenty years, brought 70mph winds, huge tidal surges and left tens of thousands flooded or without power.

Paul Davis, chief meteorologist for the Met Office said that very strong winds much of the UK experienced which was caused by jet stream.

“The jet stream is a ribbon of very strong winds that blows for the majority of the time from west to east across the Atlantic.

“It’s caused by the temperature difference between the polar Arctic area and the warmer north parts of the north Atlantic. The contrast between the two air masses is enough to generate very strong winds and in the case of October, November and December. That was enough to bring some stormy conditions across the UK.”

This bout of weather has been unusual for the UK said Mr Davis. “December has been the windiest spell since 1969, but unprecedented perhaps not. It probably feels unusual because the last few winters have been fairly settled and cold and we haven’t had the story conditions that just experienced.”

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