Hurricanes in the North Sea


#1

Hurricane force wind and 20+ m. seas are not uncommon in the North Atlantic, the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea during the Autumn and Winter period.

It happens several times in a normal year and has done so as long as records have been kept. The difference is that now there are Oil & Gas Fields in all these areas, with thousands of people working on them. Unlike in the GoM it is not common to shut in and evacuate the platforms, or to pull the supporting vessel into ports when such events are forecast.

One such storm is due to hit the North Sea Fields tonight and tomorrow:

Latest BBC Shipping Forecast for the area:

Hopefully there will not be any major incidents this time.

PS> Apparently one platform in the British sector of the North Sea has been partly evacuated:


#2

An accident occurred on the J/U Maersk Interceptor in the North Sea, but not weather is not reported to have been a factor:


#3

There is not a hurricane in the North Sea. Caroline is a mid-latitude cyclone with hurricane force winds. Mid-latitude storms are baroclinic, or associated with fronts. The "fuel for mid-latitude storms is the thermal gradient.

A hurricane is a tropical cyclone with hurricane force winds (maximum sustained winds of at least 64 kts.)

The GoM has actual hurricanes, that is tropical cyclones with hurricane force winds. Hurricanes are barotropic, no fronts. The “fuel” for hurricanes is latent heat release.


#4

@Kennebec_Captain that’s interesting. Our last time in Tasman Sea we got hit with this:

Computer models have been picking for days a rapidly forming low in the Tasman Sea this Thursday, Friday and Saturday which may become defined as a “weather bomb” says WeatherWatch.co.nz.

The term “weather bomb” relates specifically to a low pressure system that drops 24hPa in 24 hours. “It’s the weather equivalent of having a tyre blow out” says head weather analyst Philip Duncan. “The air pressure plummets and conditions quickly become unstable”.

Some media outlets incorrectly use the weather bomb term to describe any stormy weather however it should only be used to describe this rapid deepening of a low pressure system.

Weather bombs in New Zealand tend to cause isolated but severe damage. A weather bomb in Patea, South Taranaki, back in March caused extensive damage as hurricane force winds blew out roofs, walls and toppled trees - however only slightly further north winds remained light. “These weather bombs tends to have the severe gales, or hurricane force winds, right near the centre, just like tropical cyclones. So the further away from the centre you are, the lighter the winds usually”.

So what are the chances of this low reaching this criteria? Mr Duncan says fairly high at this stage. “The models we’re looking at show the air pressure dropping from around 1000hPa on Thursday evening to 976hPa on Friday morning, possibly lower”.

The low is expected to generate big seas on the western coastline, torrential rain for the West Coast and severe west to north west gales for eastern and central New Zealand.

“We still have to wait another day or two to confirm but no matter how you look at it, it seems likely a nasty low will develop in the Tasman Sea overnight Thursday and into Friday - then weaken across the weekend as it passes over New Zealand”.

WeatherWatch.co.nz will monitor the low and bring you daily updates.

All these years never heard this term “weather bomb” but it was a real thriller wind-wise. Had to skidattle up out of the way for awhile.


#5

“Hurricane” in your part of the world is, as you correctly state, the term used for Tropical Revolving Storms (TRS)
In the Western Pacific TRS is named Typhoon (derived from Cantonese “Tai” = big “Fun” = wind)
South of Equator and in the Bay of Bengal/Arabian Sea, a TRS is simply named Cyclon.

While in the Beaufort scale Hurricane means; “Sustained wind >64 kts” (whether caused by a TRS, a front or whatever else)

Hurricane force wind in the North Sea are usually caused by Atlantic Lows and associated fronts. (Sometimes remnants of Hurricanes that has devastated the Caribbean, GoM and/or US EC)

There are also Polar Lows that move south of the Arctic Circle and cause hurricane force wind in the North Sea. (The hurricane in Nov. 1981 was such an event)


#6

One person died in the accident on Maersk Interceptor:


The accident happened when performing maintenance work on a deep-well pump in the bow leg.
It is the first fatal accident in the Norwegian oil & gas industry since the helicopter crash in April 2016 that killed 13.


#7

No, I did not use that term, TRS is a generic term, AFAIK not used officially by any government met office.

“Hurricane force winds” and “hurricane” are not the same things.

This if from the World Meteorological Organization:

SOURCE:
International Meteorological Vocabulary, WMO - No. 182
RELIABILITY:
Confirmed
DEFINITION:
(1) Name given to a warm core tropical cyclone with maximum surface wind of 118 km•h|~|-1 (64 knots, 74 mph) or greater (hurricane force wind) in the North Atlantic, the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, and in the Eastern North Pacific Ocean. (2) A tropical cyclone with hurricane force winds in the South Pacific and South-East Indian Ocean.
DEFINITION SOURCE:
International Meteorological Vocabulary, WMO - No. 182

Caroline does not meet this definition, it is cold core, not tropical, therefore not a hurricane.

No, this is from MET office Marine forecasts glossary

Hurricane force

Winds of force 12 (64 knots or more)

Note: The term used is ‘hurricane force’; the term ‘hurricane’ on its own means a true tropical cyclone, not experienced in British waters.


#8

OK. You keep your “Hurricanes” and we’ll have our “Hurricane Force Winds”.
I’m just glad I don’t have to experience either Hurricanes, Typhoons, Cyclones or North Sea Winter storms of hurricane force any more.
(Except the odd snow storm, watched from a warm and well built house with a comfortable chair and a computer, where I can argue trivial things without risking life and limbs)


#9

I first encountered the term bomb ( I think at the weather avoidance course) with regards to the APL China

Article here

An intense Pacific storm, given the designation “bomb” by meteorologists because of its intense and rapid drop in pressure, overwhelmed several commercial ships that were bound for U.S. ports in late October. Although no vessels were sunk during the storm, which intensified rapidly off the coast of Japan and quickly swept northeastward, more than 400 containers were lost over the side as box stacks collapsed in rough seas and strong winds.

I hadn’t heard the term “bomb” outside marine weather forecasting till last month. They were using it on the TV weather forecast. Unusual ‘bomb cyclone’ blamed for widespread power outages

Hit us here in Maine, about half the state lost power. I was out for 2 days. Some of the big (14-18 inch) pines and some oaks came down. Mostly at the tops of the ridges.


#10

Weather chieftain Lee Chesnault had an interesting story during his time with the OPC that he was banned from using the term “bomb” on weather maps he prepared. This was apparently soon after 9/11 and the government types thought people might misunderstand it. Now I believe they use “rapidly intensifying”. Not the same in my opinion.


#11

I agree, the word bomb gets your attention.

This is what the NHC uses:

Rapid Deepening: A decrease in the minimum sea-level pressure of a tropical cyclone of 1.75 mb/hr or 42 mb for 24 hours

Rapid intensification. … An increase in the maximum sustained winds of a tropical cyclone of at least 30 kt in a 24-h period. t in a 24-hour period."