Archive | August 11, 2014

Ex-hurricane Bertha is still lashing the UK weather

Waves crash against a lighthouse in Newhaven, East Sussex
Waves crashed against a lighthouse in Newhaven, East Sussex

Parts of England and Scotland are continuing to be affected by high winds and rain brought by the remnants of what was Hurricane Bertha

The Met Office issued a “be prepared” amber warning for rain in Scotland – in Grampian, Highlands and Eilean Siar.

A wider yellow “be aware” warning is in place across eastern and northern Scotland, and north-east England.

And floods are expected in parts of Scotland, on the Somerset coast and in Warrington.

The Environment Agency has issued four flood warnings – meaning floods are “expected” – and more than 25 alerts for the affected parts of England.

The Scottish Environment Agency has more than 30 flood warnings in place, covering Aberdeenshire, Caithness and Sutherland, Findhorn and Nairn, Moray, Tayside and Speyside.

By early Monday morning, Lossiemouth in Moray, Scotland had recorded almost a month’s rainfall in 12 hours, while gusts of 50mph swept through Aberdeenshire.

Scottish motorists are warned to expect disruption with some roads in Moray and the Highlands badly affected.

Meanwhile, train services have been suspended between Aberdeen and Inverness due to the weather problems. Replacement road transport will run where road conditions allow.

Met Office satellite image showing storm over Scotland and the North Sea
A Met Office satellite image shows the storm over Scotland and the North Sea at 09:00 BST on Monday

BBC weather forecaster Carol Kirkwood said gusty winds and blustery showers would continue across the UK “for a time yet” – particularly in eastern parts of Scotland and north-east England.

She said it was still going to be “pretty wet” in parts throughout the afternoon.

“For tomorrow, the weather front producing all this rain is still very much with us, but saying that, it will start to fragment and we will start to see the rain amounts break down,” she said.

The AA warned drivers to beware of localised surface flooding and strong winds, while Police Scotland warned of possible “flooding in low-lying land, roads and to rivers which could cause delays to early morning traffic” on Monday.

In Wales, strong winds in the south have led to restrictions on the M48 Severn Bridge but it is still open.

A flypast over the White Cliffs of Dover to commemorate 100 years since the first WW1 aerial deployment has been postponed because of the weather.

The Then and Now flypast of WW1 planes alongside RAF Tornado jets is now scheduled to take place on Tuesday.

Katy and Richard Owen
Newlyweds Katy and Richard Owen had a wet wedding at Wentworth Castle Gardens near Barnsley
The weather brought disruption around the country over the weekend:
In Hull, trees were brought down, damaging cars and blocking roads, when what residents called a “mini-tornado” swept through one area.
 
The RideLondon-Surrey 100 cycle race was shortened by 14 miles to 86 miles, and altered to avoid Leith Hill and Box Hill in Surrey.
 
Yacht race organisers postponed the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race for 21 hours. The race was rescheduled to start at 09:00 BST on Monday
Brittany Ferries cancelled all sailings between Portsmouth and Cherbourg, while services on the Scillonian ferry, which operates between Penzance and the Isles of Scilly, were called off.
 
The last day of the Boardmasters festival in Newquay was cancelled because of the bad weather.
 
Some ferry services leaving Rathlin and Ballycastle in Northern Ireland were cancelled.
 
A mass balloon ascent in Bristol was called off.
 
A woman in her 60s was airlifted to hospital after being hit by a tree which blew down at Fleet Pond nature reserve in Hampshire. Her injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.
 
Fire crews in Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire pumped gallons of water out of swamped houses, while marooned drivers had to abandon their cars as they became stuck in flooded roads.
 
Flash flooding struck areas of Cardiff, amid heavy thunderstorms across southern England and Wales.
Flooding in Waltham, North East Lincolnshire
Heavy rainfall swept the country including in Waltham, North East Lincolnshire

Hurricane Bertha hit Caribbean islands last Monday before dissipating over the central Atlantic.

The storm now crossing the UK is a low-pressure system which has picked up moisture and energy left over from Bertha.

Craig Woolhouse of the Environment Agency said that while these storms were not as bad as those from last winter, people should still stay clear of at-risk areas such as seaside promenades.

Car crushed by fallen tree in Hull
Car crushed by fallen tree in Hull

Trees were brought down by strong winds in Hull

Ex-hurricane Bertha gives the heaviest rainfall and a Tornado in Cardiff City, Wales, UK

The city begins a clear-up as one church fears it will not be able to claim the flooding damage on insurance.

Cardiff experienced the UK’s heaviest rainfall today when the tail end of ex-hurricane Bertha lashed the capital.

Dozens of residents have been dealing with the drenching’s aftermath after the city endured the worst of the downpours, with a staggering 45.2mm falling in just 12 hours.

Bute Park recorded the highest rainfall in the UK within that time period.

And while the storm is expected to have left mainland Britain for the North Sea tomorrow, Met Office forecasters say strong winds and some blustery showers may still blight an otherwise sunny Monday. Rain and strong winds of up to 60mph brought disruption to Wales, especially across southern parts, with firefighters being called to several incidents of flash flooding.

Reports included:

  • blocked drains causing floodwater to accumulate on Carisbrooke Way, Cyncoed;
  • cars stuck in water under the railway bridge on Lowther Road, Cathays;
  • a van stuck under a flooded bridge in South Park Road, Splott;
  • a flooded house in Cranbrook Street, Cathays; and
  • roads flooding at Waungron in Fairwater.

Still footage was also by taken of a mini-tornado at Stormy Down, near Porthcawl. The footage taken by Ceri Evans shows a thin funnel of cloud reaching down from the clouds.

And fire crews spent three hours pumping 3ft of water from the three-room basement of Cardiff’s historic Greek Orthodox Church in Butetown, church elders said.

“There was heavy rain which caused the problem,” said priest Father Iakovos.

“The church is OK but the insurance won’t cover the damage.”

Church chairman Anton Attard estimated that more than £1,000 worth of damage had been caused but said the rooms had been kept empty after previous floods.

“The church insurance policy will no longer pay out after previous floods, he said.

“If it rains it floods from the drains,” Mr Attard said.

“Fire crews were here for three hours. The floors and walls will need cleaning and it’ll cost at least £1,100. We can’t alter the building because it’s listed.

“The basement is three rooms, two of about 10ft by 10ft, another about 10ft by 8ft.

“We are not like the Church in Wales with money for repairs. We are a small congregation of about 3,000 mainly Russians, Greeks and Ukrainians.”

The church has been operating at its current premises since 1906 with a Greek Orthodox congregation in the city since 1873, he added.

The ex-tropical storm, previously known as Hurricane Bertha, hit the Caribbean last week but began tracking its way across the British Isles on Saturday night. Jeremy Parr, head of flood risk management at Natural Resources Wales, said: “As the forecast remains unsettled we are advising people to keep an eye on weather forecasts and check the latest flood alerts on our website.”

Ross MacLeod, RNLI coastal safety manager, said: “If you are planning a coastal activity our advice is to respect the water and watch the shore from a safe distance and assess the conditions – think about the risk before deciding if you need to go closer.”

The wet weather is expected to continue through the week, with westerly winds and heavy showers in South Wales and temperatures in the high teens.

Met Office forecaster, Helen Chivers said the ex-hurricane had behaved as anticipated, dropping the most of its rain over South Wales.

“There had been some uncertainty surrounding the path that ex-hurricane Bertha would take, but we knew there was potential for heavy rainfall, strong coastal winds and large waves on Sunday.

“Monday will be quite breezy – nothing like we saw on Sunday – and there will be some sunny spells.

“However there will still be one or two very fast moving blustery showers.

“It won’t feel particularly cold, with temperatures inland reaching around 18C but there will be a brisk southwesterly wind of around 35mph.

“That won’t feel to bad after the coastal winds of 50-60mph experienced on Sunday.

“We have winds blowing from the west throughout the rest of the week in Wales.

“That system will bring us a mixture of sunshine and showers but gradually as the week goes on we should finds things improve and by Friday we should see a fine day.”

MAGNITUDE 3.4 ICELAND REGION

Subject to change

Depth: 4.4 km
 

Distances: Latitude, Longitude  63.906  -22.033 
(2.6 km NE of Krýsuvík)

Earthquake location   11 Aug 22:25 GMT

Map of earthquake epicentres

Time and magnitude of earthquake   11 Aug 22:25 GMT

Graph showing earthquake timing and magnitude

MAGNITUDE 4.9 OFFSHORE CHIAPAS, MEXICO

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=394605

Subject To Change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 278 km W of Guatemala City, Guatemala / pop: 994,938 / local time: 07:35:41.2 2014-08-11
141 km W of San Marcos, Guatemala / pop: 25,088 / local time: 07:35:41.2 2014-08-11
71 km W of Mazatán, Mexico / pop: 5,938 / local time: 08:35:41.2 2014-08-11

Global viewRegional view

MAGNITUDE 5.2 WEST CHILE RISE

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=394604

Subject To Change

Depth: 40 km

Distances: 1585 km SW of Santiago, Chile / pop: 4,837,295 / local time: 09:32:22.8 2014-08-11
2514 km SW of Buenos Aires, Argentina / pop: 13,076,300 / local time: 10:32:22.8 2014-08-11
2690 km SW of Montevideo, Uruguay / pop: 1,270,737 / local time: 10:32:22.8 2014-08-11

Global viewRegional view

MAGNITUDE 4.9 CAYMAN ISLANDS REGION

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=394599

Subject To Change

Depth: 10 km

Distances: 220 km SW of George Town, Cayman Islands / pop: 29,370 / local time: 07:45:02.2 2014-08-11
608 km W of Kingston, Jamaica / pop: 937,700 / local time: 07:45:02.2 2014-08-11
609 km S of Havana, Cuba / pop: 2,163,824 / local time: 08:45:02.2 2014-08-11

Global viewRegional view

MAGNITUDE 5.1 TONGA REGION

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/usb000s1va#summary

Subject To Change

Depth: 42 km

Distances: 160km (99mi) NE of Neiafu, Tonga
436km (271mi) SSW of Tafuna, American Samoa
443km (275mi) SSW of Pago Pago, American Samoa
445km (277mi) SSW of Apia, Samoa
452km (281mi) NE of Nuku`alofa, Tonga

Global view

MAGNITUDE 5.5 KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/usb000s1tp#summary

Subject To Change

Depth: 31 km

Distances: 184km (114mi) ESE of Raoul Island, New Zealand
958km (595mi) S of Nuku`alofa, Tonga
1113km (692mi) NE of Whakatane, New Zealand
1117km (694mi) NE of Whangarei, New Zealand
1127km (700mi) NNE of Gisborne, New Zealand

Global view

MAGNITUDE 5.0 JUJUY, ARGENTINA

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=394550

Subject To Change

Depth: 190 km

Distances: 558 km S of Sucre, Bolivia / pop: 224,838 / local time: 00:49:06.8 2014-08-11
146 km W of San Salvador de Jujuy, Argentina / pop: 305,891 / local time: 01:49:06.8 2014-08-11
52 km NW of San Antonio de los Cobres, Argentina / pop: 4,000 / local time: 01:49:06.8 2014-08-11

Global viewRegional view

MAGNITUDE 5.0 SAIPAN REG., N. MARIANA ISLANDS

http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=394541

Subject To Change

Depth: 116 km

Distances: 12 km E of Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands / pop: 48,220 / local time: 12:41:46.6 2014-08-11
2347 km S of Tokyo, Japan / pop: 8,336,599 / local time: 11:41:46.6 2014-08-11
2676 km E of Manila, Philippines / pop: 10,444,527 / local time: 10:41:46.6 2014-08-11

Global viewRegional view