July 07, 2004

Gales in London 

Strong, gusting, winds are sweeping across London in these hours.
Heathrow airport METAR reports:

071220Z 05019G35KT

This is a short form of reporting meteo observations for aeronautic use, and it is read as follows:

071220Z 7th of current month, 12:20 Zulu time (Greenwich time, or UTC).

050 Wind heading, 50 deg (north-east)

19G35KT Wind speed, 19 knots gusting to 35 knots (almost 65 km/h).

The howl of the wind around the buildings, here at the college, is particularly unnerving. I can also hear loud shuddering and rattling sounds. Actually, security personnel cordoned off and are guarding a section of the inner courtyard: they seem worried that the antennas on the roof of one building might be torn off and fall to the ground. This morning, a piece of brick, or tile, fell off the Albert Mansions Court building while I was passing by, and it hit one of the cars parked there (and cars around there are Mercedes, Porsche...).
Let's wait and see for developments, because this may become an interesting day.

Update 16:35Z - The wind has subsided slightly (gusts up to 54 km/h) and turned to east/north-east, and now there are showers. The antennas did not fall off, but it appears that the other wing of my building was evacuated. The south of England is interested by a full-scale summer storm which caused damage and circulation disruption in a rather wide area. Interesting days indeed.


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