22 February 2022.
Storm Eunice sparked the first-ever red weather warning in London on February 19, 2022. It was one of the most powerful storms in Europe since 1984, when the Great Storm hit Britain and northern France.
- Around 13 people have been killed by high winds, falling trees and flying debris in Europe.
- It has knocked 1.4 million households off the grid, with emergency crews battled to restore power.
- It caused mayhem with travel in Britain, shut down the English Channel port of Dover and closed down of bridges linking England & Wales.
- It has also halted most trains in and out of London.
- Winds touched 200 mph at high altitudes.
Second Storm in a week
Eunice is the second named storm that hit Europe this week. The first storm killed at least five people in Germany and Poland.
What’s behind dangerous wind storms in Europe?
- Eunice Storm is similar to the “Great Storm” of 1987, that had led to hurricane-force winds and claimed 22 lives across Britain and France.
- Both the storms are predicted to contain a “sting jet”. Sting Jet is a small, narrow airstream, which can be formed inside a storm and produce intense winds over an area smaller than 100 km.
- Such storms are difficult to forecast and relatively rare.
How does Sting Jets occur?
- Sting jets occur in a certain type of extratropical cyclone, which is defined as a rotating wind system outside of the tropics.
- These airstreams are formed about 5 km above the Earth’s surface. They then descend on the southwest side of a cyclone, closed to its centre.
- They accelerate and bring fast-moving air from high in the atmosphere with them. When they are formed, they produce much higher wind speeds on the ground.