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St. Brigid's Day Storm, Strike Four, Storm Darwin, and more...

This extended SEV (Storm Surge Event) covers a number of sequential storms striking the coasts of Ireland and the United Kingdom between early to mid February, 2014. Two of the storms have coincided with Spring tides, causing flooding in many Irish cities, and coastal areas of the United Kingdom. High sea's, aided in part by the increased sea levels during the storms, caused significant damage to coastal infrastructure and damaged (in some cases critically) coastal defences. Given the difficulty in separating one event from the next, and the complexity of how the storm surges interacted with terrestrial runoff and local tidal conditions to flood coastal cities, data from the series of storms have been collated here for researchers to explore and investigate.

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A visualisation of the storms wind fields, as modelled and visualised on the NOAA's Earth Wind Map. Strong southerly winds increase the potential for storm surge generation along Ireland's Southern coastlines and in the Irish sea.

This series of eSurge live events was triggered by the following warning issued within the coastal city of Cork to low-lying businesses and residential areas.

Further warning were being distributed via the Irish national press, see here for example (Irish Examiner (January 30th 2014). In the meantime, the British Press dubbed the system Storm Brigid. #StormBrigid

Reports of coastal flooding and impacts along the Irish coastaline can be found here.

(01/02/2014) A

Storm tide (Surge + regular tide level) combines with river flood waters to inundate parts of Limerick City.

(03/02/2014) Storm tides combine with River flood waters to inundate Cork City centre. Meanwhile, storm force winds which had veered to the south caused a storm tide and coastal flooding in coa

stal towns and villages along Ireland's South and SouthEast coasts.
See here for the RTE News report.

To check out the satellite-derived data being gathered on this event, click here. Data are also available for this event here.

Whilst Storm Brigid was making landfall on the 1st and 2nd of February, a further rapidly deepening low pressure system was identified and noted to be approaching Europe from the Atlantic. This storm was also forecast to pass over Irish coastlines during the period of  high spring tides.

A second of a series of deepening low has brought surge and coastal flooding warnings to the coasts of Ireland, the UK and France (image Earth Wind Map)

A number of alerts of coastal flooding were raised for the countries along the Atlantic coast:

The storm was also expected to cause flooding due to heavy rainfall, especially due to previous rainfall over the affected areas.

As it crossed over Ireland on the night of February 4th/5th, the system generated a surge of up to 1 metre in cities such as Cork, which coincided with high tides to breach the river banks of the City Centre (the city is built at the head of the estuary) to a greater extent than for Storm Brigid. It has been noted that winds at the time of the surge were approaching Storm Force from the South and South East, a direction which makes the South and Southeast coasts of Ireland particularly vulnerable to coastal inundation.

Data for this event have also been made available in the eSurge database.

 

The third of a series of four systems which tracked over Ireland, causing Storm Tide flooding to Ireland's southern coastlines and cities (image EUMETSAT).

On February 6th and 7th, further storm warnings were issued for Ireland regarding a deepening low pressure system the media have dubbed "Strike Four". The system was forecasted to track over the Southwest of Ireland and on through the Southern United Kingdom. Though the threat of coastal flooding was somewhat reduced in comparison to the recent three systems due to neap tides, the system is expected to have generated elevated neap tide levels due to storm surge formation.

  

The latest in a series of storm systems dubbed "Strike Four" approaches Western Europes coastline. Bands of intense winds can be seen circulating into a central low pressure area (red). Remnants of the previous three systems can also be seen (1,2,&3). (Graphic courtesy of Earth Wind Map)

"Strike Four" approaches the Irish and UK coastline. (image courtesy of EUMETSAT)

On February 11th, Met Eireann issued further storm warnings (Orange) for the south and southwest coasts of Ireland as westerly winds were projected to reach mean speeds of 70km/h to 80km/h with gusts to 130km/h.This was upgraded to Red on the morning of the 12th February, and developed into the strongest storm to pass over Ireland since December 1997.

Dubbed "Storm Darwin", windspeeds of over 170 kph were recorded, with the largest ever wave recorded in Irish waters at 25 metres off the south coast. This event, whilst not coinciding with high tides, does give researchers the opportunity to investigate the impacts of a storm surge which is occuring during the neap tide part of the tide cycle.

An image sequence of the storms passage over Ireland can be viewed here.

    

Red weather warning issued by Met Eireann on February 12th.

Bands of intense winds can be seen circulating into a central low pressure area (red) as the southerly low pressure feature moves ashore over the coasts of Cork and Kerry counties in Ireland (Image Earth Wind Map).

Surface level windspeeds gusting as high as 160kph as the southerly low pressure feature moves ashore (Image Earth Wind Map).

At dawn on the 12th February, the fifth of a series of four low pressure systems tracked over Ireland, bringing Red wind warnings to the southwest coasts of the courntry. (image EUMETSAT).

 

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