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Strong winds from storm Hector

Storm Hector brought some unseasonably strong winds to the UK on Thursday 14 June 2018, in contrast to a spell of largely fine, settled weather over the previous few weeks. The strongest winds were across Northern Ireland, North Wales and parts of northern England where a few locations recorded gusts exceeding 60 Kt (69 mph).

Impacts

Storm Hector brought widespread disruption across Northern Ireland and Scotland, with fallen trees affecting roads and rail services, power supplies interrupted and  ferry cancellations. A woman was injured by flying debris in Edinburgh. The following links from BBC news provide some indication of impacts experienced through this period.

BBC news – storm Hector leaves debris trail cross Northern Ireland

BBC news – woman injured in Edinburgh and impacts across Scotland

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Weather data

The analysis chart at 0600 UTC 14 June 2018 shows storm Hector tracking across the UK

The rain-radar image at 0900 UTC 14 June 2018 shows heavy rain associated with storm Hector across upland areas of western Scotland, in marked contrast to largely dry conditions over previous weeks. Parts of the West Highlands recorded 50 to 100mm of rain from this storm.

The map below shows maximum gust speeds from storm Hector. Gusts of 40 to 50 Kt (46 to 58 mph) were recorded widely across the northern half of the UK and exceeded 50 Kt in more exposed locations. The strongest winds were across Northern Ireland, North Wales and southern Scotland. In Northern Ireland, gusts of 64 Kt (74 mph) and 60 Kt (69 mph) were recorded at Orlock Head, County Down and Ballypatrick Forest, County Antrim respectively. In Wales, a gust of 62 Kt (71 mph) was recorded at Capel Curig, Conwy. In England, gusts of 62 Kt / 60 Kt were recorded at Spadeadam and Shap (both Cumbria). Across Scotland’s mountain summits winds gusted at over 87 Kt (100 mph).

The time-series below shows hourly maximum gust speeds at Ballypatrick Forest, Orlock Head, Shap, Loftus (Cleveland) and Capel Curig during the passage of storm Hector.

Historical context

It is comparatively unusual for a June storm to bring widespread gusts across the UK in excess of 50 Kt. Highest gust speeds from this event were not far short of the record values for June for Northern Ireland (67 Kt, 76 mph) at Ballykelly, County Londonderry on 23 June 1962, and Wales (63 Kt, 72 mph) at Capel Curig on 23 June 2004. The last time a June gust of 60 Kt was recorded in Northern Ireland was 12 June 1991. The analysis charts below show some historical examples of stormy days in June: 1 June 2015, 22 June 2008 and 23 June 2004.

Analysis chart at 1800 UTC 1 June 2015

Analysis chart at 0600 UTC 22 June 2008

Analysis chart at 0600 UTC 23 June 2004

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