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Major ocean cyclone pummeling the British Isles with strong winds/rainfall; Remnants of Bud to bring rain to US Southwest

An unusually potent (for the time of year) North Atlantic frontal system impacted British Isles and Ireland this morning and afternoon (local time) with intense winds and locally heavy rainfall. Ireland and Scotland were particularly hard hit with gusts to 80-90 mph (isolated gusts to 100 mph) during the morning and early afternoon hours Thursday.

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Powerful Atlantic cyclone…known officially by the UK Met Office as “Storm Hector”, advancing over the British Islands and France at 7 am CDT/1 pm British Standard Time (BST) Thursday. Intense wind wind gusts were behind the cold front and just south of the northeast advancing surface low.

The BBC reported that the highest wind gust ever recorded in the month of June in Northern Ireland occurred this morning; a hurricane-force wind gust of 74 mph at Orlock HeadEdinburgh, Scotland reported a gusts near 60 mph, as did Leeming Royal Air Force Base in northern England. Great Dun Fell, a 2,782 ft mountain in northern England reported a gust at its peak of 95 mph. With trees fully bloomed with leaves in mid-June (especially thanks to the recent very abnormally warm weather in Britain), large trees act as sails to the wind and are more easily toppled, posing life-threatening hazards from falling trees or branches onto roads. And this was much the case today with trees falling in the strong winds and heavy rain spreading over the north.

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Visible satellite image of powerful cyclone moving through the United Kingdom and Ireland. Image at 9 am BST.

Some photos:

Branches down in Glasgow. Also HERE

Tree down in North Bangor, England.

News Story on ‘Hector’ by The Telegraph


The Eastern Pacific tropical cyclone Bud has, as expected, continued its rapid weakening is now a dying tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph. It has lost much of its deep convection, but still has a prominent circulation with gusty winds and locally heavy rain bands with scattered thunderstorms.

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Visible satellite image of Tropical Storm Bud approaching the southern Baja California Peninsula this afternoon.


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Thermal infrared image of Bud this afternoon. Infrared allow us to differentiate clouds of similar optical brightness (see previous visible image) and determine cloud top warmth and therefore height into the atmosphere. The “deep convection” or intense thunderstorm activity is associated with the coldest (brighter white) tops in this image. Much of the rest of the circulation is made up of low clouds with far less precipitation.

Bud is expected to make landfall near Cabo San Lucas late tonight as a very minimal tropical storm or depression (likely 35-40 mph winds) as it continues to track of waters with little heat to support heavy thunderstorm activity. It will then move over the southern Peninsula and into the Gulf of California for mainland Northwest Mexico Friday as a weakening depression.

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As the systems enters the Gulf, its moisture, plus additional low-level moisture will rapidly surge northward from the Gulf, leading to increasing showers and thunderstorms in parts of Arizona, New Mexico and farther northward. Flash flooding is possible from these storms.

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Slight Risk (2 out 4 scale) of flash flooding within 25 miles of a point over southeast AZ on Friday morning – Saturday morning and over much of NM and southwest CO Saturday morning – Sunday morning.


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Total rainfall expected today through Sunday morning according to one model. General agreement of 3-5 inches possible in northern Mexico into far southern Arizona, with some variability based on where the heaviest showers and thunderstorms are. Widespread 1-2+ inches with locally heavier amounts are possible during the day Saturday farther north. Although the rain will be beneficial for the extreme to exceptional drought, flash flooding is a risk.

I would also mention, given the very dry soils and very dry air ahead of the system, more isolated storms may produce intense downbursts of cooler strong winds which may induce dust storms, so be mindful of this if they develop.

I will also give special mention to the surge of tropical moisture expected into Texas and Louisiana Sunday into early next week. Heavy rainfall and flash flooding will be possible in parts of Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana.

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Total precipitation accumulation forecast by one model (much beginning Sunday) associated with tropical moisture surge sourced from the Caribbean Sea. Forecast details will change, but this poses a significant flash flood risk.

I’ll have more on this event this weekend, as it’s associated with a marginal risk of tropical development in the Bay of Campeche tomorrow or Saturday. But regardless, heavy rainfall will be the biggest issue with this event.

-Meteorologist Nick Humphrey

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