When thunderstorms go into reverse (… and the hunters become the hunted!)

The current spell of dramatic thunderstorms has again opened our eyes to the wonder and destructive power of the elements. Thanks to all our friends who continue to send us great footage of the storms. Here we explain how, sometimes, these forces of nature can seem to take on a sinister mind of their own!

We’re all too used to showers in this country. Carried on the breeze, they drift across the sky, typically lasting just a few minutes. But the storms of recent days are no mere showers. These cauldrons of heat, moisture, ice and electrical energy have ravaged some parts of the UK. Flash flooding, tornadic winds, giant hail and power outages have resulted. Oh, and some pretty impressive lightning displays too.

This footage on Sunday evening from Mr Barrett in Buckinghamshire shows the development of a funnel cloud. This was the precursor of a destructive tornado beneath one such storm as it headed northwestwards on the breeze out of London. Clearly, no ordinary storm…

In no time, this was the scene of flooding in Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire. Severe disruption was caused from a month’s worth of rain falling in minutes!

Having missed the storm, residents of High Wycombe, further south, were no doubt settling in for a pleasant evening on the patio. Little did they know what was coming…!

Every so often, the energy inflows and outlflows from such storms allow them to create their own winds, taking on an almost human will of their own. Against the prevailing wind, they decide to go into reverse – a phenomenon called ‘backbuilding’.

So… rather than drifting away in the predicted direction, this storm started to grind to a halt, and then turn around!

Ever seen the film Jaws? Well storm chasers across Buckinghamshire must have felt more than a little uneasy.

This radar sequence shows how the storm drifted northwestwards out of north London, but then, mysteriously, began to head southwards again. The storm hunters became the ‘hunted’…

With all power to her house gone, the result can be seen vividly from Sara’s footage of almost constant lightning at ‘weathertrending towers’.

And far to the south, from Reading, thanks to research meteorologist Simon. He captured this stunning picture of the storm as it seemed to defy logic – rumbling southwards defiantly before it finally lost its ‘lifeblood’ of energy and died.

Isn’t nature awesome?! The recipe’s there for further such storms in the next few days. So we can expect some more fireworks and some more ‘misbehaviour’ from storms. Sometimes they just won’t do as they’re told! It sure makes forecasting them a challenge!.

Please do continue to let us know how the storms are affecting you through this spell.




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