What Katie Did
By Paul Homewood
Mark Wilson is a Met Office forecaster. Reviewing the progress of storm Katie, he said: “The maximum gust speed recorded was 106 miles per hour at 5am on the Needles on the Isle of Wight. The Needles is a very exposed site and regularly records the strongest UK gust speeds. The speed of 74 miles per hour recorded at 7am at St Catherine’s Point on the island is more typical of values recorded elsewhere across southern England.
“Given the southerly wind direction, it’s no surprise that most of the highest wind gust speeds were recorded in southern England. In fact most of the 30 UK stations recording the highest wind gust speeds are south of the M4 corridor.”
Along with the wind, the weather system associated with storm Katie also brought heavy rain. Up until 9am, Leek in Staffordshire had recorded 33mm of rain, while Exeter had recorded 26mm. Some places in the North Midlands and Wales also recorded snowfall overnight.
The progress of storm Katie on Easter Monday was covered by three National Severe Weather Warnings: including an Amber warning for wind in south-east England; and two seperate Yellow warnings covering swathes of southern Britain for both wind and rain.
You can almost sense the disappointment that it was not a record breaker!
Of course, there is nothing unusual about storms in March. For instance, check out March 1963, which followed on from the coldest winter on record.
It was just weather in those days.