Storm Otto

The 2022-2023 storm season (September to August) had its first named storm today. Otto, named by the Danish Meteorological Office, hit the northern part of the UK today. The last storm to hit the UK was Franklin just under a year ago.  The previous 2021-2022 storm season had already had four storms by this time and was about to get its fifth (Eunice).

Looking out the window (9.15am on the 17th of February 2023), it is sunny with more blue sky than clouds (Video 1) and the tree tops are gently swaying (Video 2).

Video 1: Blue Skies and Clouds (17/2/23)

Video 2: Gently swaying treetops (17/2/23)

My Davis weather station is recording a westerly wind (i.e. coming from the west) with a 10-minute average wind speed of 11 km/h and gusts of 24 km/h [note: Otto will be generating wind speeds over 100 km/h in Scotland]. The outside temperature is 13 ℃, warm for this time of year, and the humidity is 71% and falling.  The rooftop PV system is producing 1.4 kW.

Figure 1 shows a screenshot from National Grid: Live at 9.15am on the 17th of February 2023. The UK electricity generation mix has a 16.9 % contribution from fossil fuels and a large contribution (57.1 %) from wind turbines. Interstingly, the Grid is receiving lots of imported electricity (14.6 %) and the UK nuclear contribution is only about 50 % of its usual value.

Figure 1: UK Generation Mix, 17/2/23 at 9.15 am (

The WWF Green Energy Forecast for today (Figure 2) says it is a good day to be using those high-energy appliances such as ovens, washing machines, and dishwashers - at least until 4 pm, anyway.

Figure 2: WWF Green Energy Forecast for 17/2/23

Today, I have already put on a clean cycle for the dishwasher and the first load (bedding) in the washing machine. The sunny/windy weather will greatly assist the laundry drying stage. There will be an additional two clothes washing/drying cycles and, around 2 pm, I shall put the cauliflower bake in the oven for tea (or, as some people call it, dinner) and roast some vegetables (celeriac, courgettes, parsnips, carrots, onions) at the same time.

Photo 1: Cauliflower Bake (one I prepared earlier!)

Finally, although Herefordshire tends to miss out on the stormiest weather, I thought I would have a look at the top wind speeds (gusts) measured by my Davis weather station. I have selected the 6-month period from the beginning of September to the end of February; partly because these are often the most active months, stormwise, and, partly, because I only have data to the middle of this month to compare with previous years' storm activity.

The storm season of 2020-2021 (Figure 3) had 3 days when daily wind speeds were 50 km/h or above. The 2021-2022 season (Figure 4) had 9 such incidences whilst the current 2022-2023 season (Figure 5) has had only 1 day when wind speeds were 50 km/h or higher. [note: Figure 5 has a different y-axis scale to Figures 3 & 4). Click on figures for a larger image.

Figure 3: Daily Top Wind Speeds (km/h) - Sept 2020 to Mar 2021 (6 months)

Figure 4: Daily Top Wind Speeds (km/h) - Sept 2021 to Mar 2022 (6 months)

Figure 5: Daily Top Wind Speeds (km/h) - Sept 2022 to Mar 2023 (6 months)

Table 1 summarises the incidences of high winds (>50 km/h) in Hereford with the occurrence of named storms. While it is unusual for Hereford to experience the brunt of these named storms, there appears to be a casual relationship between stormy UK weather and high wind speeds (>50 km/h) recorded in Hereford. I think we can all agree that the current storm season has been quiet compared to last year's.

Table 1: Incidences of High Wind Speeds (Hereford) and Named UK Storms

Storm Season (Sept -Mar)

Number of Days with >50 km/h Wind Speeds 

Number of Storms Named by UK Met Office

Number of Storms Named by UK and European Met Offices

2020 - 2021




2021 - 2022




2022 - 2023





Post a Comment

Popular Posts

Blog Archive