Skip to main content

tv   Weather World  BBC News  April 18, 2022 5:30pm-6:01pm BST

5:30 pm
this is bbc world news. the headlines... russian forces have increased their bombardment of cities in eastern ukraine. military experts say moscow appears to be trying to weaken ukraine's military facilities as it prepares a full assault in the donbas region. ukraine says missile strikes have killed at least seven people in the western city of lviv, which had largely escaped attack until now. three military warehouses and a car garage were hit in the assault. police in sweden have made more than a0 arrests after a weekend of protests against plans by a far right group to burn the koran. the qatari foreign ministry described the far right group s actions as incitement and a provocation of muslims. south africa has sent in thousands of troops to help rescue efforts in kwazulu—natal regions where floods and mudslides
5:31 pm
have killed more than 400 people. 60 people are believed to still be missing. now on bbc news, sarah keith—lucas and nick miller visit the isle of wight, where a record 122mph wind speed was felt during a february that saw three named storms hit the uk. this weather world is all about storms. so far this year, we've seen some of the windiest, wettest weather systems on earth. and we've come to a place that has just set a new record for england's strongest gust of wind — right here on the isle of wight. we'll find out why the coast here sees such high winds. the weather is fair. meet the volunteers keeping people safe here. plus, with three named storms in one week, we'll ask if the uk's weather
5:32 pm
is getting windier. and i'll be finding outjust how windy it is here today and looking at how we measure wind speed. also on weather world — as a chain of deadly cyclones hits madagascar, why climate change could put more of east africa in their path. and deluge down under — parts of australia see more rain in three months than they normally do all year. i wouldn't say it was a surprise, but that's the most concerning factor — that we've gone from literally the south—east of australia burning to literally the south—east of australia flooding. the isle of wight, just a short ferry ride from the south coast of england, is famous for its sailing. but it wasn't seafaring weather in february when the island set a new record for england's strongest wind gust during a remarkable spell of stormy weather
5:33 pm
across the uk. a driver's worst nightmare caught on dashcam — a lorry overturns in extreme winds in 0xfordshire during storm eunice, the second and most powerful of three named storms to hit the uk in just one week. thankfully, the driver wasn't seriously hurt. another lucky escape in london, which was covered for the first time by a red weather warning. falling trees caused damage and widespread travel disruption, many people filming the storm's disruption themselves. man: oh, my god! i caught that on video! and even falling steeples — an unusual impact of the storm on a church in somerset. an unlikely beneficiary of the storm — livestreaming of planes battling the winds as they landed at heathrow attracted thousands of new viewers. and here on the coast of the isle of wight, almost invisible in the sea spray, a gust of 122 mph became the strongest ever
5:34 pm
recorded in england. this part of the coast is known for the needles — three chalk stacks off the western tip of the island. 0n the cliffs above, the batteries — military defences constructed in the 19th century. the old battery, where a weather station measured the record gust, and the new battery, which is now home to the national coastwatch institution, from where volunteers keep watch looking out for anyone in danger. i've come inside the new battery here at the needles now, where the national coastwatch institution do their vital work keeping watch over the waters and the coastline here. now, annette, you are one of the volunteers here for the nci. you also live on the island as well. so, what are your memories of that day? just how windy was it? very windy. i live about two miles away. it was very noisy, certainly lots of wind, lots of gusts, i had some superficial damage around the house. yes, it was very windy. and what is it about this particular spot here
5:35 pm
at the needles that makes it just so exceptionally windy? we're incredibly high. the old battery is 80 metres above sea level. that wind is coming straight from the english channel, whizzing up the headland and then across and down, funnelling down into the solent and across the rest of the island. and this is what annette is talking about — a south—westerly wind has an unbroken path over hundreds of miles of open water, over which it blows towards the needles. then, when the wind hits the cliff underneath the weather station, it accelerates upwards and over it on to the anemometer, producing unusually high gusts. so, here, we've really got hundreds of miles, then, of unobstructed wind flow coming right across the atlantic, hitting the headland here at the needles. but, then, as it flows across the rest of the island, it's been reasonably well protected from those strong winds. yes, that day, the force of the wind really did hit the needles, and then itjust dissipated over the rest of the island.
5:36 pm
thank you so much, annette. a little later in the programme, we will be back from here to find out more about the vital work that's done by the nci. storms around the world now and first, another view of storm eunice, this time from belgium. the same systems that struck the uk spread east across northern europe, causing further destruction. summer in south america brought extreme heat and severe storms. in the brazilian city petropolis in february, torrential rain caused flooding and landslides which killed over 200 people. and in paraguay�*s capital asuncion in march, roads became rivers, engulfing cars in a torrent. tornado damage in the usa in texas in march. with over 200 twisters reported, it's a new record for the month. to australia now, where it's been another summer of extremes. from heat in the west, as perth enjoyed its hottest summer, with more days over 35 celsius than any other on record, to extreme
5:37 pm
rainfall in the east with a la nina weather pattern. this is the flooding in sydney around march. the city had its wettest three months of any year in records going back to the 1850s. in february, brisbane had its wettest three days on record and whilst, for australia as a whole, rainfall was below average in february and march, scientists say climate change is supercharging the atmosphere to produce more intense rain when it does fall and what seems extreme now will become more like normal in the future. it certainly is really disheartening to see my own country being on fire one year and then, within another two years, it's being flooded out. in saying that, we have always been a land of extremes. you know, there is a famous poem here that australia is a place of drought and flooding rains, and that is precisely what we have seen. so, we do tip this see—saw fairly regularly, you know, maybe a couple of times in a decade, but the extremity of it, that is that —
5:38 pm
i wouldn't say it's a surprise but that is the most concerning factor — that we have gone from literally the south—east of australia burning to literally, the south—east of australia flooding. so, the extremes that we have seen of lately, while they have been unprecedented, currently speaking, in the future, they will no longer be unprecedented — they will be something more like normal. now, that is not to say that they will occur every single summer — because especially in australia, we can flip from really dry conditions to really wet conditions within a matter of a couple of years — but these events will look less extreme and more closer to normal because of how extreme future events will be. february in madagascar and cyclone batsirai is the second of five tropical weather systems to impact the island so far this year. thousands have lost their homes. entire villages have been swept away. many people have died. cyclones, the same type of storm as hurricanes, occurfrom november to april here. some go on to make landfall in mozambique, with flooding rains spreading into neighbouring countries, including malawi.
5:39 pm
madagascan livah rabearison works for a charity helping people in the aftermath of the cyclones, which he says have had a devastating impact. translation: this year | is proving really traumatic for people. every year, we know these are recurrent phenomena but this year, between 190 and 200 people have already died in the five storms we've had in madagascar. it's really traumatic, and that changes people's perception about climate change. scientists say that although the frequency of storms here is not increasing, there has been an exponential growth in the most intense cyclones and warmer ocean water may be changing their paths, pushing them southwards. madagascar, northern madagascar, central madagascar has always been exposed to tropical cyclones. it would mean a greater risk for southern regions of madagascar. we also have a small proportion of storms that have always historically tracked south of madagascar and moved south
5:40 pm
into the mozambique channel, and there is a greater chance of those types of storms forming and moving in that particular path. and then, if we look at mozambique, it means a greater probability of storms being able to make landfall in southern regions of mozambique, rather than purely in the central regions of mozambique. and that means that there's also risk for south africa, not in terms of having a direct landfall of a tropical cyclone at this point in time, but if we consider that tropical cyclones have a diameter of 100—500 kilometres, that those storm bands can really affect south africa more than they would've in the past because of the southward displacement. i'm back inside the national coastwatch institution station here at the needles on the isle of wight, and the views here are fantastic, i tell you. you can see right across the south coast of england, all the way to anvil head there — about 15 nautical miles away. and one person who regularly looks out over this view is simon.
5:41 pm
now, simon, you are one of the volunteers here for the nci, so talk me through the important work you do here and what is a typical shift like? what we do here, we're here to observe what's going on out there, personal watercraft, yachts etc, just to make sure they are safe and everything, and we've got various tools to help us do that. we've got, obviously, binoculars, we've got radios — vhf radios — where we can listen to any emergency calls or hear what the routine traffic is going along. the weather is fair and visibility is good. and we also have an ais system, which brings up various vessels as well, so we've got a number of tools that help us do ourjob. not only are we looking out at sea, we also get a lot of visitors up here walking. they come across the downs and they also visit the needles park down below, and they all want to come up and have a look at the iconic view of the needles.
5:42 pm
and i suppose the irony is that on an exceptionally windy day here, do you see less in the way of craft out at sea and less people visiting the area, so a quieter day for you? when it's — the weather is like today, when it is quite breezy, you get less boats out. it's not so pleasant. we all do it for pleasure, boating, so conditions play a big part of that as well. how windy is it out there today? at the moment, it is blowing a force 6, which is approximately in the mid—20 knots range, so it is quite breezy. thank you, simon. well it's nice and warm and cosy inside here, but nick is outside finding out just how it feels with that wind chill in a force six. well, sarah, i'm feeling every bit of that wind chill out here now because that wind is blowing at me right down from the arctic. and i can telljust how windy it is with this hand—held anemometer here. and if i hold it up, it's measuring a wind over 30
5:43 pm
miles an hour. i've had a gust nearer 44 miles an hour. and this is a cup anemometer. in fact, it's the same technology as at that weather station at the old battery down there. the wind blows into the cup, spins it around on the spindle, and from that, you get just how windy it is. now, it's windier the higher up you go in the atmosphere, there's less friction to slow the air down — that is what the land surface does — so, actually, the uk's strongest wind gust was on cairngorms summit, of 173 miles an hour. a cup anemometer like this will probably get blown to pieces with a wind that strong, so you can have a sonic anemometer, which uses the speed of sound waves tojudgejust how windy it is and from what direction. as clearly windy as it is here today, it's incredible to think the winds can be gusting over 100 miles an hour right here. a break from the wind now with some of your weather watcher pictures, showing northern ireland and scotland's sunniest march
5:44 pm
in records going back to 1919. the blue sky followed another warmer—than—average winter. half of the uk's top ten mildest winters have occurred since 2010. still to come on weather world, what makes a flash a mega flash? the changes in technology taking our understanding of lightning to new extremes. this time on weather world, we are on the isle of wight where, in february, a gust of wind of 122 miles per hour was recorded — and that is a new record for england. it happened during storm eunice. an area of low pressure that underwent explosive cyclogenesis. bbc weather�*s climate check presenter ben rich takes a closer look at the science behind these rapidly strengthening storms. a bomb cyclone is a scary name for what is essentiallyjust an area of low pressure that has deepened and strengthened quickly and dramatically, something meteorologists call explosive cyclogenesis.
5:45 pm
now, imagine a column of air from the ground up to the level of the jet stream at around 30,000 feet or so. a disturbance in the powerful jet stream forces the air aloft to accelerate away, removing air from the top of the column. the column weighs less and so the force it is exerting on the ground, the pressure gets lower. hence, low pressure. near the ground, air rushes in to replace what is lost higher up, and the area of low pressure rotates more and more quickly. and as the process continues, the storm is able to deepen explosively. on a weather chart, you will see more and more isobars appearing, like a dartboard, and if the pressure falls by at least 2a millibars in 2a hours, that is explosive cyclogenesis, or a weather bomb. weather bombs like storm eunice are not that unusual. but it is when explosive cyclogenesis happens near land that their impact can be extreme. eunice's winds were so strong
5:46 pm
they shredded part of the fabric roof of london's o2 arena, which opened as the millennium dome 22 years ago. dudley was the first of the three named storms to hit the uk injust one week in february. even a wind turbine collapsed in wales. after eunice, there was franklin, which brought major flooding. here, one bridge in northern england is swept away and goes crashing into another. since 2015, the uk met office has been giving names to storms to raise awareness of the severe weather on the way. here from the national coastwatch institute on the isle of wight, i am able to link to will lang who is at the met office in exeter. will, what is the purpose of naming storms? how useful is that? i think when we started naming storms about seven years ago now with our friends at the irish met service, i think we were probably taking a risk. we didn't know how well it would work and we could be seen to be trivialising bad weather
5:47 pm
or even dumbing down meteorology, but it has been a real success. i think we are also connected these days, there is so much available information online and in the media, and storm naming reallyjust helps us to organise that advice into a single simple message which everyone can share. so, notjust the met office but also the bbc, the rest of the media, government, emergency services, and of course the public. there is plenty of evidence of this improving the effectiveness of warnings, which is really measured by people taking the right decisions and actions. so, when it comes to storm eunice in february, that combination of the naming of the storm and the red warning for here on the isle of wight and for the first time in london, how did that make a difference in perhaps preventing more loss of life? we do public surveys after each big weather event, and after storm eunice we asked hundreds of people about how they knew about the storm and the warnings and then what they did.
5:48 pm
and, for example, in south east england, we found that 99% of people were aware of the red warning, and also crucially 91% said they took action, which is really high, with a majority of those saying they did things like securing items around their properties in advance of the storm. so, based on that, we do think the warnings were successful. big storms will always cause disruption, tragically also loss of life, but we are sure that the warnings played a part in ensuring things weren't any worse that week. also, i think it shows how far we've come in terms of how we prepare for severe weather in the uk, especially since the great storm of 1987. and, when it comes to stormy weather, three named storms in a week, is the uk getting stormier? is climate change making storms stronger when they hit the uk? 0ur long—term climate projections do give us some hints. it tells us uk winters are very likely to get milder and wetter, again in the long term. this milder and wetter weather tends to come from the atlantic
5:49 pm
where the storms develop so that does start to suggest that winter stormy periods are becoming more frequent in the future. also, there is research into certain types of storms, and in particular the kind that can give us our very strongest winds of all, and it looks like these as well may become more frequent in the long term. more explosive cyclogenesis now, and this time with a snowstorm that slammed into the north—east usa injanuary, giving boston its joint snowiest day on record. parts of northern japan had their snowiest january, the city of sapporo saw more than 60 centimetres in 2a hours, the snowiest day in records going back more than 20 years. not the normal view of a greek island but this is naxos injanuary. even in a warming world, there will be bouts of severe winter weather. europe overall had a warmer than average winter. the same storm that hit greece swept across the middle east. this is aley on mount lebanon,
5:50 pm
uphill from beirut. but it is the lack of ice in antarctica which has been attracting attention with a new record low sea ice extent measured in february. antarctic sea ice levels vary a lot but scientists say a new record low so close to the previous one is notable. we have satellite records which show how much sea ice there is year to year, and in the arctic, we can see there has been a trend, very clear downward trend through time. in the antarctic, it's different, their sea ice concentrations vary year to year, there is a lot of variability, and some years you get very high concentrations and other years you get very low concentrations. so, 2022 has been the year with the lowest concentration so far. the year with a previous lowest concentration was 2017, so within that record, it is very striking
5:51 pm
that we have these two years with exceptionally low concentrations. whether this is a trend is too early to say but it is absolutely something which we need to watch very, very carefully. there are different ways that this ice can be mounted, but they are connected to the winds. and the winds are part of the climate system and the climate system is responding to changes in greenhouse gases. so when we start to understand the things that are causing the ice coverage to change, we do see steps that do go back to greenhouse gas emissions. these are things that are open to study at the moment, we don't have answers yet, we can't give a definitive, but it is something which is really, really important to look at. earth's polar extremes are bearing the brunt of climate change. in march, an unprecedented heatwave in antarctica pushed temperatures up to a0 degrees celsius above average, and the arctic is warming two to four times faster than the rest of the planet.
5:52 pm
in april, united nations scientists set out plans to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 celsius this century, saying it is now or never to limit warming, and there must be rapid, deep and immediate cuts in carbon dioxide emissions. some government and business leaders are saying one thing but doing another. simply put, they are lying. and the results will be catastrophic. the most powerful storms on earth produce lightning, with over three million flashes around the globe every day. in february, the world meteorologicalorganisation announced it had verified two new world records for lightning mega flashes — the longest duration for a single flash, just over 17 seconds in a thunderstorm in south america, and the longest distance for a single flash covering over 750 kilometres in the southern usa. these flashes were observed by new satellite technology,
5:53 pm
geostationary lightning mappers. daile zhang, who helped to verify these records says the mappers reveal more about the scale of lightning than traditional ground—based detectors. there are optical sensors so you can think of it as, you know, a camera on your cell phone, but it detects, it covers a large domain, north and south america, and adjacent oceans. and it is also a high—speed camera so it takes a snapshot from above the thunderstorm every two milliseconds, which give you 500 frames per second. and it continuously observes, you know, lightning activity, and it operates in a very narrow band of near infrared frequency, so whenever there is lightning in the cloud, the satellite sensor will see where it started and how it propagates in the cloud and where it ends.
5:54 pm
it is exciting that we have the technology to observe and appreciate the beauty of it. my initial thought was that studying satellite lightning was the best thing that i have ever done. well, our time is almost up here on the isle of wight back with me is annette. annette, ijust wanted to ask you a little bit about how you got involved and what drives you to be part of this team here at the national coastwatch institution? i was a nurse on the mainland and a few years ago i decided to volunteer in the hope that it would make me a better sailor, and i learnt so much — marine chart work, the radio, getting my vhf licence, and generally working with an eclectic bunch of volunteers. have you got any particularly memorable incidents while you have been
5:55 pm
on shift here? we had an interesting morning, it was fairly quiet, a bit foggy, and one of our local fishing vessels lost its motor and heard on the radio, listening on channel 16, that it needed a tow, and very gratefully the boat next to it actually managed to tow it back so that was good, it wasn't an incident that was turning nasty, that was very easy to do. and about an hour later, a plane flew really, really low over the watchtower, a member of the public had phoned in and thought they had seen a plane crash but in fact it had just banked very sharply and hit the cloud. so, there's always something here to keep you on your toes. annette, thank you for showing us around today, thank you to you and all the team at the nci, notjust here on the isle of wight, but in fact there are 57 stations, and counting. vital work that they carry out, so thank you to all the volunteers. and that is it for this time on weather world on the isle of wight. sarah, if you are doing a programme about wind,
5:56 pm
you want it to be windy, but this is something else! yes, be careful what you wish for, nick! whatever the weather where you are, we will be back later in the year with another weather world so until then, goodbye. goodbye. hello there. it was a noticeably fresher day today across the board. there was some good spells of sunshine particularly across the east and southeast of england, a few showers further north and west. tonight, it's going to turn chilly with a cool air mass in place, clear skies, particularly across scotland and northern
5:57 pm
ireland, could see a touch of frost. there will still be a few showers lingering around as well. it's all down to this area of low pressure, which has been sitting to the northwest of the uk. quite a few isobars on the charts close to the northwest of scotland, so, here, it has been windy, but the winds will continue to ease down through the course of the night. you can see that blue hue indicating that cooler air mass, which will be pretty much across the country through this evening and overnight. a bit of cloud toward central, southern and eastern england, one or two showers here. some showery bursts of rain for the northwest of scotland too, thanks to a weather front, but for the rest of scotland and northern ireland, clear skies leading to a cold night here, a touch of frost. a chilly night to come as well for much of england and wales, particularly towards the west and across wales. so we start tomorrow on a chilly note. that's how our tuesday begins. plenty of sunshine in the north away from that weather front in the northwest. there will still be a few showers there. and showers will develop pretty widely across england and wales, i think, through the afternoon.
5:58 pm
a few of them could turn out to be quite heavy. and the winds will be lighter as well to what we've had throughout monday. so, those showers will be slow—moving, but it will be a cooler day still on tuesday, with temperatures ranging from 12—15 degrees. a ridge of high pressure begins to exert its force across the country for wednesday. so that means wednesday, i think, for most of us, is going to be a largely dry day. there will be bits and pieces of cloud around to start with. it will be another chilly start as well, but there should be quite a bit of sunshine around through the day. a bit of an easterly breeze picking up across the east of england there. that will make it feel cooler along north sea coasts. but i think the best temperatures will be across more southern and western areas. could see highs of 17—18 degrees. towards the end of the week, the area of low pressure, which has been sitting out to the west of us, will dive southwards into biscay and iberia. it could affect the very far south of england
5:59 pm
as we move into the weekend, but i think thursday and friday will be influenced by this big area of high pressure to the north of the uk. and that will bring us pretty strong, brisk easterly winds for both thursday and friday. so that will make it feel quite chilly, particularly along north sea coasts. probably the best of the weather and the high temperatures will be further west.
6:00 pm
today at six we're live in ukraine, as russia expands its attacks nationwide. in lviv in the west, seven people die in air strikes as parts of the country previously unscathed come under fire. ukrainians believe this is a reminder from russia that it still has firepower and is prepared to use it. and the other main headlines this evening... scotland's first minister apologises for failing to wear a facemask, just days before the rules there changed. to have them here is extraordinary. and prince harry speaks to the bbc about the invictus games, and what ukraine's presence there means.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on