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2013-14 Atlantic winter storms in Europe facts for kids

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St. Jude storm and Windstorm Godehard

The end of October brought the St. Jude storm (also called Cyclone Christian), which became one of the top 10 most strong storms in the fall across southern England in the last 40 years. After the St. Jude storm, a series of storms swept across western Europe bringing winds and rain, though not becoming as strong as the St. Jude storm.

A low named Godehard was the strongest of these low air pressure areas and brought some damage to Wales. Windstorm-force winds left 10,000 homes without power in Wales on the first weekend of November 2013. On November 2 the M4 Motorway was closed between Margam and Pyle due to the weather, and a roof canopy at the Princess of Wales Hospital Bridgend was damaged.

The old Severn Bridge on the M48 motorway was closed, with speed restrictions in place on the Second Severn Crossing. Natural Resources Wales warned of localized flooding with sea spray and overtopping of sea defenses along the Newport coast. The low air pressure also brought large waves to Aberystwyth which caused some damage to seafront properties.

2013 Nordic Windstorms

An area of high air pressure to the west of Britain and Ireland formed in late November to early December, which caused numerous windstorms to turn north to Norway and Sweden. All the storms moving north of the United Kingdom meant that November was fairly dry for the country. In December there were long periods of calm weather in France with sunniness and dryness. A change in the weather pattern began as active storms brought strong rain and snowfall to the mountains towards the end of the month.

Until December 14, France (and the United Kingdom and Ireland) were protected by a strong area of high air pressure that stretched from Africa to the British Isles. The Nordic nations, however, were affected by a series of storms, including Windstorm Hilde (November 17), Windstorm Oskari (December 1), Windstorm Xaver (December 5–7), Windstorm Ivar (December 12) and Windstorms Zaki and Adam (December 14–15). Windstorm Xaver is mostly known for the North sea flood of December 5 in the UK.

The high air pressure over Britain, Ireland and the Atlantic moved east during mid December, allowing areas of low air pressure to reach western Europe. During mid-December the jet stream became un-usually strong in the North Atlantic. The storms moved under this powerful jet stream where they rapidly strengthened before reaching Western Europe.

Christmas and New Year Windstorms

Windstorm Bernd (18–19 December)

Formed 17 December 2013
Dissipated 21 December 2013
Lowest pressure 947 hPa (28.0 inHg)

The first storm of this period was named Bernd, the storm was also named Emily after Emily Brontë the author, who died on December 19 165 years ago, and who wrote the book Wuthering Heights. Met Éireann (Ireland) gave red warnings for wind at 9:00am on December 18 to Counties Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo and Sligo. The United Kingdom Met Office issued orange warnings for the Highlands, Western Isles, Strathclyde and Northern Ireland.

Windstorm Dirk (23–24 December)

Formed 21 December 2013
Dissipated 28 December 2013
Lowest air pressure 927 hPa (27.4 inHg)

Dirk formed over North America, and caused some storminess in Canada, before it moved into the Atlantic. The preceding weather in North America saw a steep temperature gradient, which strengthened the jet stream in the North Atlantic. The storm moved under this powerful jet stream where it rapidly strengthened before reaching Western Europe.

A storm as intense as Dirk is considered uncommon in the North Atlantic, but has been recorded on a number of occasions, measured from ships crossing the ocean and from land based-recording stations. Dirk created the lowest air pressure in Britain and Ireland since 1886 (127 years ago). The all-time low air pressure record for the British Isles was recorded in 1884 (129 years ago)

Windstorm Erich (December 26-27)

Formed 25 December 2013
Dissipated 1 January 2014
Lowest air pressure 944 hPa (27.9 inHg)

Windstorms Felix & Gerhard

A stormy period between Christmas and New Year followed as Weather fronts related with the Windstorms Felix (December 30) and Gerhard (January 1, New Year's day) passed over the United Kingdom, which brought even more rainfall and stormy conditions to the area.

Windstorm Felix was more remote from the European mainland and brought strong winds in North-West France in the Brittany area. Storminess near Iceland brought winds up to 140 kilometers per hour (87 miles per hour) to that country, and disrupted traffic and heavy rainfall and brought more flooding to the United Kingdom. Over the holiday period, several New Year outdoor swimming events were cancelled.[citation needed]

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