Storm Frank over the Northeast Atlantic Ocean

December 30th, 2015 |

Northeast Atlantic surface analysis maps [click to enlarge]

Northeast Atlantic surface analysis maps [click to enlarge]

Surface analysis maps over the Northeast Atlantic Ocean (above) showed the rapid intensification of an area low pressure — named Storm Frank by the UK Met Office and Met Éireann — during the 29-30 December 2015 time period. As the storm moved northward toward Iceland, the central pressure of Frank explosively deepened from 966 hPa at 06 UTC on 29 December to 928 hPa at 06 UTC on 30 December, with the tight pressure gradient producing hurricane-force winds over a large area.

EUMETSAT Meteosat-10 Visible (0.75 µm, 1-km resolution) images (below; also available as a 10-Mbyte animated GIF) depicted the well-defined center of circulation of Storm Frank during the daylight hours on 29 December, as it was intensifying south of Iceland and west of Ireland.

Meteosat-10 Visible (0.75 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

Meteosat-10 Visible (0.75 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

Meteosat-10 Infrared (10.8 µm, 3-km resolution) and Water Vapor (6.25 µm, 3-km resolution) images (below; also available as animated GIFs: 33 Mbtye Infrared and 21 Mbyte Water Vapor) showed Storm Frank as the center eventually moved over Iceland early in the day on 30 December.

Meteosat-10 Infrared (10.8 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

Meteosat-10 Infrared (10.8 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

Meteosat-10 Water Vapor (6.25 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

Meteosat-10 Water Vapor (6.25 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

As the 928 hPa low pressure moved over Iceland (below), time series plots of data from various surface stations revealed winds gusting to over 50 knots at Egilsstaðir BIEG and Akureyri BIAR; farther to the east over the British Isles, wind gusts exceeded 50 knots at Cork EICK and Stornoway EGPL, with gusts over 60 knots at Sørvágur/Vágar EKVG and Benbecula EGPL. In the North Sea off the coast of Norway, strong winds and high waves were responsible for a barge breaking free of its moorings and drifting near oil fields (media report); there was also one fatality and 2 injuries on an oil rig (media report).

Meteosat-10 Water Vapor (6.25 µm) image at 0630 UTC on 30 December, with surface station IDs [click to enlarge]

Meteosat-10 Water Vapor (6.25 µm) image at 0630 UTC on 30 December, with surface station IDs [click to enlarge]

The NWS Ocean Prediction Center created longer satellite image animations covering the entire life cycle of the storm (below).

 

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