The UK was gearing up for the arrival of ‘Big Bertha’ last weekend with the prediction of strong winds and heavy rain courtesy of the ex-hurricane.
Whilst falling short of the levels of destruction predicted by some sections of the tabloid media, many areas experienced a wet and windy day uncommon for early August, with the Aylesbury Vale no exception. After a relatively fine day on Saturday, cloud increased overnight to bring outbreaks of rain to Aylesbury and the surrounding area on Sunday morning, with around 10mm falling.
Winds during the morning were relatively light; the calm before the storm. After the sun put in a very brief appearance around Sunday lunchtime, the western horizon then darkened ominously as a line of thunderstorms roared towards Aylesbury.
At around 1:20pm, the full force of a nasty squall line hit the town head-on with outbreaks of heavy rain and gusts of wind estimated to have exceeded 50-60mph. The strength of the wind was enough to tear down a number of trees across Aylesbury as their summertime leaf canopies acted as large sails.
Power was also lost, particularly in the areas around nearby Tring and Albury, as downed power-lines closed roads. The line of severe thunderstorms was able to grow strong and destructive because of the added storm-fuel ex-hurricane Bertha had injected into our weather on Sunday.
High levels of humidity and moisture had been picked up near the Caribbean earlier last week and were then transported by the remnants of Bertha across the Atlantic until they interacted with our weather. Whilst thunderstorms of this severity are not expected for the rest of this week in the Vale of Aylesbury, it will still be cool and breezy with plenty of showers.
Some of these showers will be on the heavy side so don’t be surprised to hear the odd rumble of thunder.
There will be sunshine between the showers, however, and Saturday is looking mostly dry at the moment.