Violent storm strikes Scotland


Satellite image of massive storm striking northern Britain (UK Met Office)

At Cairngorm Summit (elevation 4,100 feet) in Scotland, a gust of 165 mph was clocked (just shy of its record of 173 mph in 1986), equivalent to levels in a major hurricane.

This incredible gust came less than a week after a gust of 150 mph tore across the summit Mammoth Mountain in central California. The National Weather Service described the Southwest U.S. windstorm as the worst in 10 years.

Not to be outdone, the UK Daily Mail said the storm battering northern Britain was the worst in 15 years:

The winds were so strong that a 100 metre tall wind turbine spectacularly caught fire at Ardrossan in North Ayrshire, while pilots landing at Scottish airports had to battle to get their planes down safely in the treacherous conditions.


Schoolchildren dodge the waves created by storm force winds at Cardswell Bay, Gourock, in western Scotland on December 8, 2011, as a winter storm rolls in. Scotland closed schools and travellers were warned to expect disruption on key routes on December 8 due to gale-force winds, as Britain's first major winter storm of the season swept in. (GRAHAM STUART/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

... there is a significant risk of damage to trees and structures. The police are also advising that conditions for travel will be extremely poor and that travellers are likely to experience significant delays.

In Scotland, peak wind gusts reached 105 mph in Inverness, 91 mph in Tiree, 71 mph in Glasgow, 68 mph in Aberdeen and 68 mph in Edinburgh. Ireland’s Malin Head gusted to 80 mph. Gusts in England reached 107 mph at Grun Dun Fell and 67 mph in Manchester according to the Daily Mail. In London, gusts to 55 mph were forecast.

In addition to the punishing winds in central Scotland, a news feed from the BBC also described extensive flooding.


Weather map as of this morning showing storm impacting northern Britain. (NOAA)

As of this evening local time, the UK Met Office said winds were easing in western Scotland but still very strong further east, especially in northeast Scotland. Snow was expected over Scotland’s “highest ground” and England’s northwest hills.

Via YouTube: A trampoline is sent flying during Scotland’s violent windstorm: “Oh my God, trampoline!”

Jason is currently the Washington Post’s weather editor. A native Washingtonian, Jason has been a weather enthusiast since age 10.

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