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Posted at 06:26 PM ET, 01/03/2012

Another mega-storm wallops United Kingdom (IMAGES)

NASA Aqua satellite image of giant storm that struck the United Kingdom earlier today (NASA)

For the third time in 30 days, a powerful storm with hurricane-force wind gusts has raked the British Isles. The storm, which caused damage throughout the United Kingdom, is being blamed for at least two deaths.

Part of a roof lies in the Broadholm Street after being blown off in high winds on January 3, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Jeff J Mitchell - GETTY IMAGES)
Scotland appeared to be hardest hit, where strong winds knocked power out in 70,000 homes. Bus, rail and ferry services were disrupted. A wind gust of 102 mph was recorded at Blackford Hill in Edinburgh, the third highest on record, and strongest there since 1998 according to the UK Met Office.

In England, an apparent tornado touched down in Hainault on the northwest side of London. According to London 24 “trees were uprooted and roofs damaged”. And witnesses described the storm as “ferocious” and “horrendous”.

People stand next to a truck blown over in high winds on the A720 city bypass in Edinburgh, Scotland January 3, 2012. (DAVID MOIR - REUTERS)
On Ireland’s northern tip (north Donegal), winds gusted to an incredible 105 mph.

What’s behind the onslaught of big storms in the UK? The Met Office weighs in with this explanation:

Agnes McCallum stands in the doorway of her home where part of the structure has been blown down on January 3, 2012 in Rutherglen, Scotland. (Jeff J Mitchell - GETTY IMAGES)
While the general weather pattern is what we expect to see at this time of year, the strength of the storms and winds has been unusual. This is down to the jet stream – the high altitude winds which blow from east to west across the Atlantic and brings us our traditional changeable weather.

Over the past few weeks the jet stream has occasionally been particularly strong and some of the low pressure systems have interacted with that as they have tracked over the Atlantic, boosting their strength. This has led some of the lows to develop into powerful storms which have brought very strong winds to the UK.


From 12/8: Violent storm strikes Scotland

From 12/16: Atlantic storm slams France, Europe; beaches cargo ship

From 12/30: Sea foam blizzard in England (VIDEO)

By  |  06:26 PM ET, 01/03/2012

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