UK in for ‘sub-tropical storm’ in July – Met Office

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Atlantic Ocean is only slightly warmer than Africa British weather forecasters have predicted a sub-tropical storm will hit the British Isles this summer. The Atlantic Hurricane Season…

UK in for 'sub-tropical storm' in July - Met Office

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Atlantic Ocean is only slightly warmer than Africa

British weather forecasters have predicted a sub-tropical storm will hit the British Isles this summer.

The Atlantic Hurricane Season will start on 1 June. Weather experts say the risk of direct tropical impact from Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes on the UK is “close to zero”.

But Britain is not immune to what will likely be an extended season, which typically runs from May to November.

The Met Office expects 15 to 20 named storms and a maximum of 40 named storms over the season.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Tropical storms and hurricanes strike central and western areas of the Atlantic Ocean

The longest spell of consecutive Atlantic Atlantic Atlantic hurricanes and tropical storms in recorded history was from October 2006 to February 2007, where 22 named storms – or tropical cyclones – struck.

The longest recorded rainfall totals were in the Bay of Biscay, which reached 180mm (7.6 inches) on 10 July 2005. It led to a devastating wildfire there that claimed the lives of dozens of people.

On its annual update it said long-range forecasts are just “data points”, but one of the key factors is an Atlantic hurricane season with at least three named storms and two hurricanes each.

Image copyright PA Image caption British weather forecasters have predicted the weather will cool in the autumn and early winter

In its last update in November, it had said there was “below average” confidence on whether this year would be an “average, stronger or weaker” season.

However, it has now narrowed that confidence to “near chance” for an average Atlantic season.

It says the probability of a landfall for a hurricane in the UK is “close to zero”, but the risk of a storm bringing tropical rains to parts of the UK is near to “decent”.

The analysis, done with the long-term forecasting institution Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, concludes: “Few ‘extreme’ weather events have been reported over the past few decades in the UK and Ireland.”

Image copyright PA Image caption A large concentration of storms in 2010 led to heavy rain and hail in the south of England

“Last year’s adverse winter weather and subsequent hosepipe ban reflected the weather phenomenon of the Atlantic Oscillation that caused a strong weakening of the jet stream across the Atlantic Ocean.”

The UK receives around 70% of its rainfall from Atlantic waters, but only about 1% of our energy comes from tropical systems.

An average season could bring winds up to 100mph over the UK, which could cause damage and travel disruption.

“In a more normal Atlantic hurricane season, such as the recently ended 2017 or, with increasing confidence, the average of the past three or four years, although potentially wetter than average, it would be too far a stretch to expect conditions comparable to the summer of 2010,” the report said.

“With this level of confidence, a trough of low pressure offshore of Scotland in mid-April could have significant impact on the country, particularly along the east coast.”

The chances of a hit during the European winter are “near to very high” and a second front developing over Europe is “too weak to make any difference” to the British mainland.

Further north, the risk of a direct impact from the Atlantic in January to April is close to zero, but temperatures will drop to 8C in the north-west and south-west regions of Scotland during the winter months, compared with highs of 13C in the northeast.

It added that the temperature in the UK is unlikely to change much in the coming months.

It had previously advised people to take measures to protect themselves from the effects of potential weather events, including buying second-hand goods, taking care with heating and electricity supplies, and moving electrical equipment away from windows.

It added that people who are heavily invested in a property that would be susceptible to flooding should buy insurance policies and flood insurance.

How tropical storms form

They are a rotating column of water in the central Atlantic Ocean which can carry strong winds and surge and kick up large waves.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from 1 June to 5 November.

A hurricane is a minimum classification of a storm with maximum sustained winds of 74mph.

Four tropical storms form in the Atlantic Ocean every year; this time last year there were 13 tropical storms and three hurricanes.

A hurricane is a category one storm with maximum sustained winds of 74mph. There have been 29 Atlantic hurricanes during this time period.

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