Winter rains and continental trains

The period between mid-October and mid-November is sometimes called in weather lore “Autumn Rains and Continental Trains” as one area of low pressure after another races across the Atlantic to dump rain on the UK.  This year the trains are running late. Very late (No need for British Rail jokes).

Surf site has posted an amazing animation of approaching storms as shown by wave heights.

“In two and a bit months the North Atlantic has hardly paused in its brutal storm production line.”

Check out key to swell height here.

Since 1st January they record four storms with significant swells:


Forecast wave height and period at peak of the swell at Sennen / Seven Stones Lightship, Cornwall, England

  • Hercules (6th Jan): 28ft@21 seconds
  • Take Two (1st Feb): 28ft@19 seconds
  • Brigid (5th Feb): 30ft@18 seconds
  • Strike Four (8th Feb): 35ft@19 seconds

This last one brought  a a new record wave height of 75ft, according to the Express destroying the previous record of 67f.

The largest wave ever seen in British waters was recorded at 3.30am yesterday by a buoy operated by the Plymouth Coastal Observatory at Porthleven, Cornwall.

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8 Responses to Winter rains and continental trains

  1. Bloke down the pub says:

    My favourite part of the world is Beer in East Devon. I don’t know what damage and changes to the coastline I’m going to find when I get down there this year.

    • Verity Jones says:

      They say there has been huge damage to the Jurassic Coast. It’s a part of the country I’ve never actually been to. I know the North and West of Devon well, and Cornwall. Wonderful part of the world.

      The damage at Porthcothan Bay is impressive:
      Storm damage

  2. Verity Jones says:

    I have another theory to explain the current deluge. It is Galileo, Newton and Einstein weeping uncontrollably from above.

    Melanie Phillips: (quoted by Judith Curry)


  3. mwhite says:

    “Starting seven weeks after Easter 1315, “the deluge” continued through May, June, July and August, with almost constant rain; to compound matters, both August and September were cold. The harvest failed to ripen, and much of the wheat, rye and hay that the population and its livestock was dependent upon, was lost. Fagan notes that the spring rains of 1316 led to the serious disruption of the “sowing of oats, barley and spelt. The harvest failed again and the rains continued.” (p. 38). The year 1316 witnessed widespread famine across Northern Europe, with the cereal crop being the worst of the Middle Ages. A bitterly cold winter followed in 1317-1318, only to be succeeded by another wet summer with the upshot being more famine and an eruption of “religious fervour.” During that harsh winter there had not been enough fodder to sustain livestock, with the consequence that many animals perished. Not until 1322 did this pattern of terrible summers come to an end across the region, yielding instead:”

    “to unpredictable, often wild weather, marked by warm and very dry summers in the late 1320s and 1330s and by a notable increase in storminess and wind strengths in the English Channel and North Sea. The moist, mild westerlies that had nourished Europe throughout the Medieval Warm Period turned rapidly on and off . . . . The Little Ice Age had begun.”

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