Monster Squall

The Aberystwyth area has yet again has made it to the National News thanks to the weather. Yesterday was a typical Autumnal day here. Grey, showery and fairly windy. Nothing unusual, leaves were falling from the trees, the sea was a little rough and a raincoat was recommended. That was until around about 10:30 when and almighty squall hit the coast.

The barometer had been dropping all day but as the squall passed it fell dramatically, rising again once the squall had passed. The temperature rose slightly at first to around 9ºC and fell significantly to 5ºC in the matter of minutes. Most noticeable though was the wind speed which increased to scary levels as the wind veered from SW to W. It hit a maximum gust on the Borth and Ynyslas weather station of 78.3knots, smashing our previous record of 69.6 knots set on Christmas Eve 2015.

Weather Station Chart from 17th November 2016

Weather Station Chart from 17th November 2016

78.3 knots!!! That’s 90mph. Everything went flying. The air was suddenly fell of flying objects, leaves darkened the skies, trees were toppled and roofs ripped off house, Caravans in caravan sites were destroyed and there was damage everywhere. Aberystwyth and the surrounding areas came to a stand-still as roads were closed and Emergency Services were called upon to help clear up the carnage. Before long Aberystwyth was a trending topic on Facebook and Twitter!

The squall hit with some ferocity but thankfully it didn’t last long. Within 20 minutes things had calmed down somewhat to a normally windy November Day. From what I could see from the timings of it hitting Aberystwyth where I was and the data from our weather station in Ynyslas, the Squall seemed to stretch along a line from Aberystwyth of Ynyslas. It came in from the SW hitting the southern part of this area first and then as it moved inland the maximum gusts (all around 80 knots) were seen northwards along the coast. Here’s some data from the weather station just before and after the squall hit.

DateTimeTemp (ºC)Humidity %Pressure (mb)10 min Av windspeed (knots)Gust Speed (knots)DirectionRainfall (inch)
17 11 201610 378.8990988.0012252030
17 11 201610 388.8990987.9426362050
17 11 201610 399.0691987.7030362110.008
17 11 201610 409.2291987.2648782420
17 11 201610 418.8990988.0433552640.016
17 11 201610 427.5083989.6040522700.024
17 11 201610 436.6184990.1038492740.008
17 11 201610 445.8387990.5840512710.008
17 11 201610 455.6189990.5136442760
17 11 201610 465.6791990.3432402690
17 11 201610 475.7892990.2032392680
17 11 201610 485.8993989.87126402680.008
17 11 201610 496.0093989.6325332780
17 11 201610 506.1193989.3616232760

As you can see, it hit with some ferocity at around 10:39, dropped back off slightly within a couple of minutes but stayed in the 40-50 knot range until about 10:45 when it gradually eased back off to around 25-30 knots over the next 5 minutes. It hen remained pretty windy all day.

The University was closed a little while later as the clean-up continued. Student and staff were sent home. Not that Anna and I could go as we had work to finish off before we did. When we eventually got home we surveyed the damage. Dustbins had disappeared and been smashed to pieces, and there was debris everywhere in the garden. I had been most concerned about our new lean-to. It had mostly survived but one of the roof panels had been blown out. Hopefully I’ll be able to fix it. The beehives had been blown over too. Anna was just finishing off putting them back together when I arrived home. Lets hope the bees are OK.

The weather certainly keeps us on our toes here!


5 Responses

  1. Alan Cole says:

    Should also have said that the weather station isn’t functioning quite as well as it should and I’m currently saving up for a new one. It’s been reading windspeeds quite low for a while so who knows, if it had been working 100% maybe it would have recorded something higher than 78.3 knots?


  2. Mum says:

    Just glad you are all safe, hope the bees will be ok too x

  3. Hi Alan, sounds a little breezy! Your post confirms my suspicions that this was a squall line not a tornado as reported by some. The broad nature of the damage didn’t suggest the narrow path damage produced by a tornado.I have published a video about what may have caused it at .
    May be of interest.

  4. Emily says:

    That must have blown the cobwebs away! Poor bees!

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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