Weather warnings as an Atlantic storm brings a North Sea storm surge to parts of the UK

Thousands of people were evacuated from their
last night as a tidal surge struck the
east coast of England.

The North Sea surge, predicted to be the worst in 60 years, was caused by an Atlantic storm that brought very strong winds to northern parts of the UK yesterday with widespread gusts of 60-80mph.

The Met Office continues to issue ‘national severe’ weather warnings. This morning’s shipping forecast warns of northwesterly severe gale force 9 winds rising to violent storm 11, plus a very high, rough sea state.

The Environment Agency, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) and Natural Resources Wales have also issued numerous severe flood warnings for the coastline that stretches from North Lincolnshire to Kent.

Flood waters have receding in many areas but there are expected to be further high tides later today.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeboat station in Wells was flooded during yesterday’s storm surge. It was one of nine RNLI lifeboat stations flooded or damaged by the weather.

What is a storm surge?

is a very localised rising of sea level – independent of tides –
related to the track of a storm and its accompanying winds.

storm causes this surge of water in two ways. Firstly strong winds,
often blowing parallel to the coast or onshore, push water roughly in
their direction which causes water to ‘pile up’ on nearby coasts.

second element, which is less important for the UK, relates to
differences in air pressure. Low pressure, associated with storms,
exerts less of a force on the sea surface – allowing the sea surface to
temporarily rise in the vicinity of low pressure.

Local geography
also plays a role. North Sea areas are particularly prone to storm
surges because water flowing into the shallower southern end cannot
escape quickly through the narrow Dover Strait and the English Channel.
The shallow depths in the southern North Sea also aid the development of
a large surge.

Storm surge pic thanks to @nicolaw411