View Full Version : Major Atlantic Storm this weekend

24th Jan 2013, 22:32
A bit of Jet Stream Blast, you might say. There's a massive winter storm brewing in the Atlantic at the moment. The various forecast models are evolving and have slightly different predictions of just how intense it's going to get, but they all have it "bombing out": central pressure dropping by more than 24mb in 24 hours. Much more, in this case - possibly over 60 mb. This is the GFS model for midday on Saturday:


Predicted central pressure of 919 mb, wind speeds up to 106 kt, in this model. :ooh: I'm guessing that a few Trans-Atlantic flights will be a bit longer than normal this weekend.

25th Jan 2013, 00:45
It's a balmy -35 here in Atlantic Canada this evening, but the Arctic system that's causing it is pushing the depressions south of us and on across to you unaffected by a land mass. Sorry.

25th Jan 2013, 00:56
916, wow, that is low.

B Fraser
25th Jan 2013, 08:44
The last time I plotted an Atlantic 500mb chart, that looked like that, it felt like I was drawing a zebra's arsehole. I don't think the "not a hurricane" of 1987 was that deep.

Never mind, I've had one tree keel over due to the weight of the snow and another shed a couple of large branches so this blighter ought to keep me in firewood for next winter.

22 Degree Halo
25th Jan 2013, 10:26
Bombogenesis (http://www.theweatherprediction.com/habyhints/188/)is the term you are looking for.

DX Wombat
25th Jan 2013, 10:50
:eek::eek::uhoh: :\ :ooh: :eek: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v604/DX_Wombat/icon_pale1.gif http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v604/DX_Wombat/fainting.gif

green granite
25th Jan 2013, 10:51
The Met office seem to think that it will get to a position due South of Iceland and then drift North and fill, probably means it'll come steaming up the Western Approaches and intensify. :E

Weather and climate change - Met Office (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/surface-pressure/#?tab=surfacePressureColor&fcTime=1359028800)

25th Jan 2013, 10:53
Should be interesting to see what sort of wave heights we are going to see, looking at the synoptics through to Monday low after low is going to form in the same area.

NDBC - United Kingdom Recent Marine Data (http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/maps/United_Kingdom.shtml)

25th Jan 2013, 12:14
Perhaps a repetition of the Braer storm of January 1993 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braer_Storm_of_January_1993): The Braer Storm of January 1993 is the most intense extratropical cyclone on record for the northern Atlantic ocean. Developing as a weak frontal wave on January 8, 1993, the system moved rapidly northeast developing at a moderate pace. The combination of the absorption of a second low-pressure area to its southeast, a stronger than normal sea surface temperature differential along its path, and the presence of a strong jet stream aloft led to a rapid strengthening of the storm, with its central pressure falling to an estimated 914.0 mb (26.99 inHg) on January 10. Its strength was well predicted by forecasters in the United Kingdom, and warnings were issued before the low initially developed.

Winds of gale-force covered the far northern Atlantic between western Europe and Atlantic Canada due to this storm, with hurricane-force winds confined near its center of circulation. After reaching its peak intensity, the system weakened as it moved into the far northeast Atlantic, dissipating by January 17. This storm caused blizzards across much of Scotland and led to the final breakup of the oil tanker MV Braer, which had been stranded in rocks off the Shetland Islands by a previous storm nearly a week beforehand.

For those who like to look at pretty images but with limited understanding of extreme weather phenomena like myself, here's a link to the French-language Meteociel website concerning this storm (http://www.meteociel.fr/modeles/bome_cartes.php?&ech=6&mode=0&carte=1). Immediately to the upper left-hand side of the image, you will see < Anim > which you can "click on" to see an animated version of how they believe the storm will develop over time...

Whatever, it looks like the full effects will only be felt by those in the far north of Scotland and north of that mainly. Beginning next Monday or Tuesday. But will surely bring a lot of snow and/or rain elsewhere (mostly rain here in the south of France) for most of western Europe next week...

My current thoughts go out to all the mostly containerships (presumably) and their crews, who still cross the north Atlantic during winter-time at these upper latitudes between North America and Western Europe. But at least they no longer have to also manage any threats from U-Boats anymore. Just whatever sanctions the shipping companies feel enabled to impose on their crews, who might have since (hopefully deviated well south) in defiance of ETAs in ports... :uhoh:

Lon More
25th Jan 2013, 13:21
thoughts go out to all the mostly containerships

Didn't one just disappear several years ago. IIRC the supposition was that, due to the height and frequency of the waves, it just broke in two and went straight down.

25th Jan 2013, 14:04
bnt, perhaps that's only because AIS involves "line of sight" radio-communications to identify vessels "squaking". In the middle of the Atlantic, presumably there are not many "ground-stations" receiving these signals, and available to populate your map in your link above...?!

Whatever, there must be at least a few ships experiencing very severe weather conditions at this time in the immediate area of these "very low lows".

The English-speaking mariners will mostly all be familiar with Gordon Lighfoot's "Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald":

Gordon Lightfoot - The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald - YouTube

Blame it all on the Canadians / Americans - this storm came from their side... :{

25th Jan 2013, 14:07
bnt, perhaps that's only because AIS involves "line of sight" radio-communications to identify vessels "squaking".
Yeah - realised my mistake 10 minutes later & deleted my post about that. Oh well. Can we find out who's out in the North Atlantic?

25th Jan 2013, 14:30

this any help?

Live Ships Map - AIS - Vessel Traffic and Positions (http://www.marinetraffic.com/ais/)

DX Wombat
25th Jan 2013, 14:42
Lon, that was probably the Derbyshire. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MV_Derbyshire)

25th Jan 2013, 14:57
What? Noone commenting on the point that in Gordon Lightfoot's live performance above, all of us simply remained in our seats, without feeling we had to behave any differently, merely doing our best to completely "absorb" everything he sang...?!

I reckon there are quite a few ships out there, in the midst of one of the worst storms that mother nature could throw at mankind. I also like to think there are a few seabirds, perhaps on migration or even just looking for a simple safe-haven in the storm on one of these vessels. Undoubetdly, whilst their crews go out to check the fastenings on the containers, they will also bring with them a little food for all the birdies also sharing their voyages...

25th Jan 2013, 15:08
I'm pretty sure the Derbyshire went down in the Far East in a Typhoon,I think there was a German ship,possibly the 'Munster' which disappeared without trace in the Atlantic probably about 30 - 40 years ago.The lowest I experienced whilst working on the Irish Sea was 934mbs whilst running Swansea - Cork.

BAMRA wake up
25th Jan 2013, 15:49
Met reporting ships here:


Thi site doesn't appear to be working as well as it used to but it is possible to obtain tabulated met reports usually including wave heights.

flying lid
25th Jan 2013, 16:16
Ellan Vannin - The Spinners - YouTube


25th Jan 2013, 17:51
A Sailor's Life - Fairport Convention - YouTube

I've listened to this on a small yacht in the middle of the Atlantic, post 100+kt winds.

Here's hoping everyone out there makes it through.

eastern wiseguy
25th Jan 2013, 18:11
MV Princess Victoria - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MV_Princess_Victoria)

And of course this disaster is still remembered. What a way to go.

Let's hope EVERY vessel out there stays safe.

25th Jan 2013, 18:36
The enquiry was damning of the design of the Princess Victoria. But it has always puzzled me why D/F bearings from Portpatrick Radio (GPK) and Anglesey Radio (GLV) didn't give a more accurate position.

The R/O did a good job - that's why he had posthumous GC. But it was a tradition that the R/O left a sinking ship just before the Captain, and after everyone else.

I knew a guy who was supposed to be travelling on that last trip of the Princess Victoria - he was on leave from National Service in the Army. He got too pissed in London and missed the train.........lucky for him, although prostate cancer eventually got him in 2007.

Ex R/Os tell me that is very traumatic hearing the last messages from a ship going down and knowing you can do nothing more to help.....

The old prayer applies: 'God help sailors on a night like this.'

25th Jan 2013, 18:38
Lon, that was probably the Derbyshire.

Out of purely local interest, the Derbyshire had departed Sept-Iles QC, my home port, with a load of iron ore pellets and concentrate from the company I was working for at the time.

The North Atlantic in not a nice place in the winter. The lowest load line on a ship's Plimsoll marks does not say WNA for nothing.

25th Jan 2013, 19:18
Basil wrote (and bless his soul): As eng on banana boat, after watching 'Dr No' (Tarantula on James Bond's chest), just as I was falling asleep with portholes open, there was a commotion on my chest.
Almost had a serious colonic event! As you've, no doubt, guessed, it was a little seabird hitching a lift

Presumably, you watched fore-mentioned sea-bird's eyes closely, (having rapidly discarded the creature as a potential food source). What did you see? Did you see what I saw? Many years ago when cruising in the Galapagos Islands, I had the immense pleasure in welcoming aboard various storm-petrels, big boobies and others (and conserving them) by various suitable means before releasing them in the early morning light. The "eyes" have it. In a blink of an eyelid, these creatures trusted me with their lives, allowing me to handle them without any "beak bites" etc. And airship reciprocated in kind, somehow understanding their message and predicament. If I remember correctly though at the time, the small storm-petrels did not appreciate at all being stored together. I had to put them in separate buckets before they all eventually quietened down for the night.

My current exposure to wildlife (from my 1st floor apartment with small balcony), are mainly birds, composing of several collared doves (very territorial) and a single female robin.

A very far cry from wandering the Himalayas as a child armed with a .22 air-rifle, sneaking up on birdies during the cold winters, ostensibly hunting them to feed an adopted stray cat. I actually enjoyed it all back then. But I'm wiser now. And no doubt will become wiser as I grow even older. And a very long way away from the Himalayas of my childhood.

Please excuse me, I'm probably in the wrong thread here.

25th Jan 2013, 21:00
I don't think Portpatrick and Anglesey radios could have given a good DF fix as they are nearly opposite one another.Malin Head would have given a much better cross.

Milo Minderbinder
25th Jan 2013, 21:02
27th Jan is a full moon
Same day as that storm seems likely to hit the UK

could be one heck of a storm surge
with the amount of fresh water in the rivers at present making the estuaries already full, it could get nasty

25th Jan 2013, 22:55
Hmmm, what effect will this have on my trip home to UK from St Lucia on Saturday? I promised the wife a gentle ride. seat belt signs all the way?!

26th Jan 2013, 13:17
Now we're talking:


26th Jan 2013, 13:58
The Icelanders might well experience the full (remaining) fury of this storm when it hits next week. Elsewhere in UK / Europe, just a lot of snow (rain).

I can imagine a lot of UK and European politicians chuckling - hoping that the storm is some form of come-uppance to the people and government of Iceland. Who did not expend billions of taxpayer's funds (which they did not anyway possess), coming to the rescue of and bailing out their own banks (which the UK, Ireland, Netherlands and most of the rest of Europe did, simply printing worthless bank-notes).

I wish the Icelanders well. Use your natural resources wisely: your preserved cod and other fisheries whilst everyone else just over-fished all their own resources; capturing the geologic volcanic resources which allow you to produce as much as 90% of your electricity requirements etc.

I do turn up my nose sometimes at some of your Icelandic cuisine, but overall, I think the rest of the world should have followed your example in not rescuing their own banks at the cost of several trillions from public funds. A lot of taxpayers' funds basically enabled a lot of already rich people to build even bigger superyachts in the after-math.

Milo Minderbinder
26th Jan 2013, 16:26
Met Office predicting here in northwest England, 10-20mm rain overnight with up to 40mm on hills ......with the snow thaw, spring tide and storm surge with the storm driving from the SW things are looking more and more interesting: potential rush of water into the Irish sea from the SW, with a lot of water coming down the rivers. Predicted high tides at Heysham are around 9.2-9.4 metres this week.... with the extra water as well.....yikes

26th Jan 2013, 18:39
The storm - named Jolle - hit its peak around noon UT today. It "bombed" to 930 mb, a pressure typically seen in Category 4 tropical cyclones. There's a discussion of the storm, with some history, on Wunderground (http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2336). Isn't she a beauty? :8


PS: no big wind in Ireland yet, but the warnings (http://www.met.ie/forecasts/warnings.asp) are sounding for Monday:
There is a high probability that southwest to west winds will increase to mean speeds and gusts that have the potential to cause damage, in many parts of the country, during Monday 28th January.
Exceptionally high waves affecting Atlantic coasts, also on Monday, will bring the threat of coastal flooding at times of high tide.
Valid from 09:00 to 24:00 Monday 28/1/2013

BAMRA wake up
26th Jan 2013, 18:46
The ultimate high res image here, 250m per pixel, from earlier today. Reckon it's filling and drifting north towards Iceland.

Rapid Response - LANCE - Terra/MODIS 2013/026 13:10 UTC (http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/imagery/single.cgi?image=crefl1_143.A2013026131000-2013026131500.250m.jpg)

green granite
26th Jan 2013, 19:10
now look what you've done bnt

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26th Jan 2013, 20:52
This shows it well in this animation.
Satellitt: Europa (http://www.yr.no/satellitt/europa_animasjon.html)

Lon More
26th Jan 2013, 21:00
drifting north towards Iceland.Another none event then. I'd rather go to Morrisons' anyway.

26th Jan 2013, 22:31
AIS is no longer just restricted to VHF coverage; it went satellite several years ago. Costs more, of course.

26th Jan 2013, 22:57
Non-event? What were you expecting? Fireworks and a brass band? :hmm:

Besides, the effects on us landlubbers are just starting. The Irish broadcaster RTÉ is on the ball, as usual:


26th Jan 2013, 23:00
But what has he done with the British Isles?

27th Jan 2013, 12:18
But what has he done with the British Isles?

Aside from London such a term doesn't exist.

27th Jan 2013, 12:30
It looks as though we are in for some warmer weather (http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/7668200)

west lakes
27th Jan 2013, 15:14
Looks like tomorrow afternoon could be interesting, forecast on xcweather is 36G58 kt.

Krystal n chips
27th Jan 2013, 16:00
Ah, yes, the weather.

Well according to the Met.Office website, the wind direction around here is roughly SSW and the forecast is...."light showers".......unfortunately, since before lunch, we have had a series of CB's, all depositing their contents, as they do, and hardly a "light shower" ...although of course there could be a distinction as to what the Met. Office classes a "light shower" and muggins perception of such, based on the flooding on the drovers track outside the hovel, and which may differ slightly from theirs for some inexplicable reason.:hmm:...and then there's the little matter of the, erm, wind direction...which is, and has been all day...NNW

Addendum to the next, and future forecasts on the Beeb, for the duty presenter therefore..

" For more information, go online to our website or check with your local BBC radio and television station.Better still, buy a compass, learn some basic met.and cloud formations, stick your head outside the house and make your own forecast"

27th Jan 2013, 17:55
Guys and mermbers of the fairer sex.............

Any possibility of setting up a permanent "Weather Thread" as this one has been fascinating to see.

27th Jan 2013, 19:02
Me, I'm only interested in Heavy Weather of the sort covered by this thread. There's always Weather wherever you go: you bring it with you. :)

28th Jan 2013, 00:13
Crowded House - Weather With You - YouTube

28th Jan 2013, 00:18
The Weather is here, wish you were Beautiful.... :}

The Weather is Here Wish You Were Beautiful in the BVI - YouTube

28th Jan 2013, 00:32
BVI 2003, with Sunsail also, and 2008 with my own boat.

Lovely place!

29th Jan 2013, 22:21
Just before 11.30pm and outside temp reading 11.5 degrees in the car a few minutes ago........hell that was high even last summer.