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'Spanish plume' headed to the UK, but not for long – expert comment from Reading meteorologist – University of Reading

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'Spanish plume' headed to the UK, but not for long – expert comment from Reading meteorologist

Release Date 11 August 2016

Hot weather

On reports that a ‘Spanish plume’ is headed to the UK over the coming days, Dr Rob Thompson from the Department of Meteorology at the University of Reading, said:  

“A blast of hot Spanish air is coming, but probably won’t last long.

“Several media outlets have recently been talking of the forecast of a "Spanish plume", but what is a Spanish plume and what does it mean for us in the UK?

“A Spanish plume is a weather pattern where hot, humid air is brought north from the Iberian Peninsula over France, and towards the UK, driven by a low pressure system west of Ireland, clashing against a high pressure over Europe.

This starts as largely clear, hot sunny weather, with some shallow cumulus clouds, but the hot air creates a ‘lid’ to the clouds, preventing deep growth. Once the temperatures raise enough, and with cool air higher up, enough energy to overcome the ‘lid’ is reached, a cloud punches through, rapidly becoming a deep thunderstorm, with very heavy rain, hail and danger of flash flooding. Current forecasts suggest that the Spanish plume will be setting up early next week, but unlikely to last long.”


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