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Hurricane Season

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What are you up to this weekend

With this sort of forecast sweeping through the national press, I felt it only fair to rev up the Storm Blog just in case anything actually materialises: Link to forecast: Better check that this forecast fits in with what you're doing this weekend!

That's All for Now. Or is it?

As Cornwall basks in some summery sunshine and clean lines of swell arrive over a brushed blue sea, the ravages of the recent storms and the wettest winter in recorded history start to fade into distant memory.  Hope is high that the winter has ended, and a constant stream of perfect swell over a warm hazy spring will precede a barbeque summer. Sunshine and Clean Swell Potentially then, this blog may have nothing more to report this winter, no more storms to watch, no more giant waves to record -perhaps the blog doors should be closed until next winter?  But first, I thought I'd do a recap from the stormiest season I can remember, one where 20 unique hurricane force wind storms hit the Atlantic during the months of January and February, 2014.   Hurricane force winds create large waves These are some of the pictures that hit the local and national papers over the winter Porthleven taking a hit from Hercules Fourteen of those 'bombed', low centers that un

The Silent One

A couple of days ago a storm system showed up mid-Atlantic, with winds hitting Force 11 (Violent Storm) and open ocean waves sending the wave buoys up to around the 30ft mark. The main thing about this storm was that no-one really noticed it. Perhaps due to the brilliant sunshine and blue skies that arrived at the same time, the lack of a grey canopy and squally rain making folk unaware of the stormy seas nearby.  There were few reports on the radio or TV, no warnings about walking on the beach, or storm watching. All was silent. So I thought I might get a sneaky wave at Sennen. Cornish Fireworks at Sennen The swell was too big to surf though, with waves bursting over the cliffs in a fifty mile an hour SW breeze, watched only by a handful of dog walkers and locals. Longships in a cloak of spray So I returned to the south coast, where the recent storms have uncovered remnants of a forest, believed to have covered the entirety of Mount's Bay about 5,000 years ago

Hurricane, or just a Violent Storm?

The south west has essentially been battered by several hurricanes over the past few weeks.  The most recent storm, hitting the coast on Friday afternoon and lasting until the small hours of Saturday morning, hit wind speeds above 80 mph and waves above thirty feet. The upper reaches of the widely used Beaufort scale are: Gale Force 8, Strong Gale Force 9, Storm Force 10 and  Violent Storm 11 for winds up to 73mph and waves over 37 feet.  Hurricane Force 12 is reserved for wind speeds above 74mph, and seas above 46 feet. Penzance Promenade  No wonder Penzance and Newlyn seafront were decimated, because that's what Hurricanes do. A whole layer of the promenade scattered  Although it might have been just a Violent Storm. This graph from the Penzance wave buoy would indicate otherwise, recording a wave over 90 feet.  . Large enough  Even if we assume this peak is an anomaly - the machinery that measures and records these waves has yet to be perfected, the Scillies

Charlie don't Surf

People who live in Cornwall are a resilient bunch, used to a bit of heavy weather and the odd gale. We will doubtless have to foot the repair bill, currently estimated at £21 million, via council tax rises, so it was encouraging to see an international windsurfing competition, the Red Bull Storm Chase decide to run their grand final of this year's event slap bang in the middle of the biggest storms for decades, Winter Storm Charlie. Bringing with them hundreds of spectators and tourists and TV crews during the off season, broadcasting the beauty of a Cornish Storm to the rest of the world.   Jumping for joy Checking the beach at Godrevy about 8am, there were some heavy head-plus size waves coming in. By nine am, the storm had fully arrived with waves hitting twenty to thirty feet. I saw the first two sailors to go out try and ride over the mountainous broken waves that were headed shoreward, but they were just crumpled under the weight of whitewater. Rumbling rivers of

Bug Eye

This next one is just starting to pick up, gusting to 87mph this evening. Massive seas likely tomorrow, and again on Saturday. I can't see a name for this one yet, but it looks like it's got bug eyes. Continuing this post after the Bug Eye storm event now: Overnight the wind howled and downed over 100 trees across Cornwall. Emergency services fielded 300 calls and were too busy clearing main roads to deal with this one which crushed a car in Penzance, so a 78 year old  resident started sawing it up himself. Massive destructive waves hit Penzance and Newlyn and sunk boats at Porthleven when the harbour wall was breached.  One wave was recorded at nearly 75 ft in Mount's Bay. Graph from The largest waves hit during the night with hundreds of people turning out to watch the show on the Promenade the next morning. The incredibly heavy storm swell damaged Penzance pier, threw wreckage from the promenade all over the road causing police to