Weather Watch: Some respite from winds this weekend

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Unusually strong winds for May hit much of southern Britain last week, with gusts of up to 60mph.

With trees in full leaf, more damage was caused than may have been seen in winter under similar conditions.

Several injuries were reported after trees fell on cars, while market stalls in Aylesbury were not erected last Wednesday on safety grounds.

But what causes the wind to blow?

The main driving force behind it is the difference in air pressure.

Air tends to move from areas of high pressure to low pressure, and this largely determines the strength of the wind.

But this isn’t the end of the story.

The rotation of the Earth causes what is known as the Coriolis force.

This has the effect of deflecting the flow of air to the right in the northern hemisphere, and to the left in the southern hemisphere.

The combination of these forces generally determines the strength and direction of the wind.

In the northern hemisphere we see winds go anti-clockwise around low pressure, and clockwise around high pressure, with the opposite being true in the southern hemisphere.

As a result of the relatively low friction over the sea, coastal areas tend to see stronger winds than areas inland, with locations at higher altitude tending to see stronger winds for the same reason.

So is a repeat of the blustery conditions of last week on the cards?

That doesn’t appear to be the case.

However, the weather is looking changeable.

Wednesday should be fine but rain is due on Thursday followed by brighter weather on Friday.

The weekend looks on the cool and breezy side with a few light showers possible, but a fair amount of dry weather.