After a late 2021 – early 2022 period of calm, very mild weather with only half-a-dozen light air frosts here on the coast in Margate, February has seen the situation change dramatically.
Although barely affected at all by Storm Arwen in January (a Northerly) which caused tremendous damage to trees and the power infrastructure in Scotland and Northern England, or by Barra and Corrie, the past week has seen Storms Dudley and Eunice come barrelling in largely from the SW-W. A further Storm, Franklin, is due to arrive tonight and tomorrow (20-21/2/22) from a similar direction and with similar forecast gusty conditions.
As noted in past posts, Margate is slightly unusual in that it is mainly exposed to winds on the northern sector from the NW to the NE. If the wind comes in from any of those directions then a combination of waves and any possible accompanying storm surge can cause problems for our sea defences. Consequently, the effects of Storm Eunice, although causing some damage to both trees and infrastructure inland, have been minimal on the coast with no over-topping of the defences despite wind gusts of around 75mph. Because of the wind direction, the swells have been running very strongly parallel to the coastline pretty much down the line of the Thames Estuary, but not on-shore. The winds caused extensive flume to be visible drifting west-east during the strongest gusts.