Depression systems and case studies

formation of depressions and 2 case studies with comaprison (1987 great storm and St. Judes storm, october 2013)

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Global issues climatic hazards
Depressions and case studies
Depressions are large travelling low pressure systems found in middle and high
latitudes. They form when warm air meets cold air along the polar front. The
warm air is squeezed into a narrow wedge known as the warm sector. As the air
masses don't mix easily, sharp boundaries known as fronts, seperate the cold
and warm air masses. The boundary forming the leading edge of the warm
sector is called the warm front where cold air is replaced by warm. The
trailing edge of the warm sector is called the cold front where warm air is
being replaced by cold air. Faster winds behind the cold front causes it to
move faster than the warm sector and eventually lifts it of the ground creating
an occluded front.
Case study: 1987 great storm, UK
Economic impacts
Several insurance claims, but not everything was covered
£2bn damage in Southern Britain
Financial markets shut down
Social impacts
16 killed
1.3 million buildings damaged
Schools closed as people told to stay at home
1 million without power
Environmental impacts
15 million trees uprooted destroying valuable habitats
Case study: St. Jude's storm, October 2013, UK
Economic impacts
High amounts of insurance claims which increased insurance premiums
for the following year
£1bn worth of damage across Southern Britain
Social Impacts
4 killed
600,000 without power
Homes damaged
Environmental impacts
137 flood alerts
100's towns, villages, farmland flooded
1 million trees uprooted
Landslides around the coast as the cliffs were saturated following a dry
Comparison of the 1987 and 2013 storms
1987 storm had a larger impact than the 2013 storm due to less
accurate forecasts of the 1987 storm so less time was available to
1987 storm had stronger winds than the 2013 storm (top gust 115mph in
1987, 99mph in 2013)

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Global issues climatic hazards
2013 more widespread flooding- more rainfall and increased population
of the south is to blame
In 1987 the wind was the major issue whereas in 2013 flooding was the
major issue
It's very difficult to assess the impact of depressions as antecedent conditions
are very important in leading to floods. Depressions tend to occur one after
the other, so it's hard to assess the impact of one single storm.…read more


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