The storm with no name

Thursday 10th Mar 2016 by the Weather Club

Photo: Flooding in Great Doddington, Northamptonshire Source: Flickr

Late Tuesday night, and into Wednesday morning, strong winds and heavy rain spread across southern Britain. Despite wind gusts of 91mph, and rainfall totals across southwestern Britain widely greater than 30mm, the storm was not labelled with a name. 

Several people, particularly those from southwestern Britain, took to Twitter to express their confusion with the storm not being named. One of the aims of the ‘Name our storms’ project is to help raise awareness of severe weather. 

On Wednesday, wind gusts peaked at 91mph, at Berry Head in Torbay, Devon. The Needles, Isle of Wight, recorded the second strongest wind speeds of the day, at 82mph. Several other stations across Devon, Cornwall and Wales reported gusts greater than 60mph.

Over the 24-hour period, from 10pm Tuesday to 10pm Wednesday, Stowe in Buckinghamshire recorded the most rain, with 36.0mm. Eight other counties across England and Wales recorded rainfall totals above 30.0mm. The River Avon in Rugby recorded its highest ever level at 10pm on Wednesday, peaking at 3.6m, following heavy rain. This beat the previous high of 3.53m in April 1998.

In Plymouth city centre, roads were closed, trees came down and buses were diverted. In Warwickshire, the police and fire services spent the day helping those who had tried to take on the high waters and become stranded. 

For the Met Office to name a storm, medium or high impacts must be forecast, as a result of strong winds. Despite strong winds on Monday, the impacts of the winds were forecast as a low, resulting in a yellow warning being issued, which does not warrant the naming of a storm. On the Met Office news blog, they have stated “A full impact assessment has not yet been completed, but the information gathered so far show the wind impacts to be of a level consistent with the yellow warning for low impacts issued yesterday".