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)

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)

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)

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.


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