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Discussion > Storm - flood

The storm surge and flooding heading down the east coast was all over the news yesterday, forecast to be "at least 2-4m above normal high tide", does anyone know how high it was.

Dec 6, 2013 at 5:16 PM | Unregistered Commenterjaffa


Posted on another thread:

Dec 6, 2013 at 3:23 PM | kellydown

Perhaps somebody realised that highest in 60 years (actually the first reports said 30 years but it's fair enough to revise as you get new info) implies that it was higher 60 years ago so there's no "getsworse" angle.

This is waaay off topic but here goes ... :)

Unfortunately for the rabid scaremongers henceforward known as the warmish, the North Sea storm of 31 Jan/1 Feb 1953 was the worst for at least 250 years. It reached a lowest pressure of 966mb (that produces 0.5 metres of sea level rise just due to the inverse barometer) and the accompanying strong northerly winds pushed lots of water towards the funnel of the Dover Strait. It produced a storm surge along the east coast of around 4 metres, varying from 3.28m at Great Yarmouth to 4.67m (over 15 feet - yikes!) at Sheerness.

The recent storm produced a surge of around 2 metres, varying from 1.2m at North Shields to 3.0m at Sheerness. For maximum effect, the surge should occur at the time of year of the highest tides (February) and at the highest state of the tide. Sheerness failed on both counts and the storm surge was only about 60cm higher than a high tide on 6 Nov 2013. Lowestoft fared much worse with a 1.8m difference between the storm surge and a high tide a month previously.

Since flood defences after the 1953 surge were designed to prevent a repeat of the flooding it would have been an indictment of the Environment Agency if any serious flooding had occurred as a result of the recent storm. However much hype is applied to the after effects it was definitely not in the same class as the 1953 storm and it may be a very long time before any storm comes close.

PS the last link is where the surge data was obtained. Their model seems to be the bees knees.

Dec 6, 2013 at 10:44 PM | Billy Liar

Geoffrey Lean is lying about it in the Telegraph today. He will, of course, say it was an honest mistake or he was misled by BBC propaganda. He said:

The difference between now and 60 years ago was not that the surge was less – at Hull, for example, it rose 5.2 metres compared to just five in 1953 ...

The surge element of the tidal level at Hull was only about 1 metre. He is deliberately mixing tidal levels, measured in metres, and surge levels above normal. In Hull, the 2013 surge was less than half the 1953 surge. The Hull Tidal Barrier is raised for tide levels above 4.2m so the surge reached a level of 1.0m above the normal action value. Since the barrier was built in 1980 the previous highest surge was a tide level of 5.05m in 1983.

As you can see from the above news item, tides in Hull can reach 4.48m without any influence from the weather so the storm surge at Hull was only 72cm above a recent high tide - not the 'worse than 1953' disaster that Geoffrey Lean is trying to promote.

Dec 7, 2013 at 12:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar