January 2005 was characterised by unsettled weather conditions with several wet and very windy days, particularly in the first half.
There were two particularly stormy spells - on the 7th/8th and 11th/12th - each resulting in widespread damage and disruption. Many wind speed records were set during the month.
January 7/8 - northern England took a battering, with transport and power supplies disrupted. Among the incidents reported were overturned lorries on the A1 in north Yorkshire and Northumberland and the M6 in Cumbria, and delays to train services on the east coast main line in north Yorkshire because of damage to overhead power lines. By late on the 7th 80,000 customers had lost power in NE England and 20,000 houses in Yorkshire and Humberside remained without electricity for most of the 8th. [BBC News link] Severe gales cause havoc on roads
There was also heavy rain across northern England on the 7th, bringing floods to Carlisle.
January 11/12 - Scotland bore the brunt of the damage and disruption notably to transport with bridges closed, roads and rail lines blocked by fallen trees and ferry services suspended. In addition, water and power supplies were cut and some buildings damaged. A tragedy occurred when five members of the same family were drowned as they tried to drive across a causeway linking South Uist to Benbecula in the Western Isles [BBC News link] Community shock over storm deaths
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January 7/8 - as a very deep depression (reaching 962 mb) tracked north-eastwards across southern Scotland, strong winds battered England and Wales particularly northern areas. Gusts in excess of 70 knots (81 mph) were recorded from the Isle of Man and north Wales across to the coast of north-east England. 88 knots (101 m.p.h.) was recorded at St Bees Head (Cumbria) and 89 knots (102 m.p.h.) at Aberdaron on the Lleyn peninsula (Gwynedd).
January 11/12 - another very deep depression (944 mb) tracked north-eastwards but this time passing to the north of Scotland. Consequently Scotland experienced very strong winds with gusts over 60 kn (69 m.p.h.) widely and over 80 kn (92 m.p.h.) in the Northern and Western Isles. A speed of 92 knots (106 m.p.h.) was recorded at Barra and 88 knots (101 m.p.h.) at Stornoway.
|Station||County||Highest hourly |
|Highest gust (knots)||Date||Comments #|
|Great Dun Fell (847 m)||Cumbria||84||111||8th||Highest hourly mean and highest gust 1994-2009. High level station|
|St Bees Head||Cumbria||63||88||8th||Highest hourly mean and gust 1993-2009|
|Stornoway||Western Isles||59||88||11th||Highest hourly mean and 2nd highest gust 1980-2009|
|Fair Isle||Shetland||58||80||12th||Highest hourly mean and 2nd highest gust 1998-2009|
|Point of Ayre||Isle of Man||56||85||8th||Highest hourly mean and highest gust 1980-2009|
|Ronaldsway||Isle of Man||54||79||8th||Highest hourly mean and highest gust 1980-2009|
|Barra||Western Isles||52||92||11th||Highest hourly mean and highest gust 1998-2007|
|Loftus||Redcar and Cleveland||52||78||8th||Highest gust and highest hourly mean 1997-2009|
|Leeming||North Yorkshire||48||74||8th||Joint highest gust and joint highest hourly mean 1974-2009|
|Killowen||County Down||46||75||8th||Highest gust and 2nd highest hourly mean 1998-2009|
|Dishforth||North Yorkshire||44||71||8th||Highest hourly mean 1980-2009|
|Orlock Head||County Down||44||67||8th||3rd Highest hourly mean and joint 3rd highest gust 1994-2009|
|Lossiemouth||Moray||43||76||11th||Highest gust and 2nd highest hourly mean 1980-2009|
|South Uist Range||Western Isles||42||64||11th||Joint 8th highest gust and 11th highest hourly mean 1997-2009 (four days mssing Jan 2005)|
|Linton-on-Ouse||North Yorkshire||41||69||8th||2nd Highest hourly mean and 2nd highest gust 1980-2009|
|Kinloss||Moray||40||69||11th, 12th||Joint 2nd highest gust and joint 5th highest hourly mean 1964-2009|
|Tain Range||Highland||39||68||12th||4th Highest hourly mean 1992-2009|
|Aultbea||Highland||36||57||11th||Joint 5th highest hourly mean and joint 6th highest gust 1993-2009|
|Leconfield||East Riding of Yorkshire||34||55||8th||2nd Highest hourly mean and 2nd highest gust 1980-2009|
|Glenanne||County Armagh||31||61||8th||Highest gust and 3rd highest hourly mean 1994-2009|
# Dates show the period of digitised record available.
' When NWP met climatology: storms over the Isle of Man during January 2005'. A Hisscott. Weather, Vol. 62 Royal Meteorological Society, 2007
'The violent gale of 11-12 January 2005 in the north of Scotland'. P.R. Brown. Journal of Meteorology, Vol. 13, pp. 104-106 2005.