Storm Alex was a powerful early-season extratropical cyclone that was particularly notable for its extreme flooding around the Mediterranean. Alex caused widespread wind and flooding damage across Europe, and at least 16 fatalities, with one more 1 person missing. Alex was the first named storm in the 2020–21 European windstorm season.

Storm Alex
Storm Alex making landfall in Brittany at peak intensity on 2 October
TypeExtratropical cyclone
European windstorm
Formed30 September 2020 (2020-09-30)
Dissipated3 October 2020 (2020-10-03)
Highest gust187 km/h (116 mph) at Belle-Île, France
Lowest pressure969 mb (28.61 inHg)
Fatalities16 fatalities
Power outages115,000
Areas affectedUnited Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic

Originally, a minor low-pressure system to the south west of Greenland late on 27 September.[1] This pressure system tracked south eastwards, experiencing the Fujiwhara effect and then undergoing explosive cyclogenesis before making landfall in Brittany on 1 October. It was named by AEMET and Météo-France on 30 September, with Red warnings being issued for wind for parts of Northern France from 16:00 CET on 1 October.[2]

The storm led to advection of Mediterranean air northwards where it interacted with the coastal topography producing an extremely heavy rainfall in southeast France, known as a "Mediterranean Episode". This brought record breaking flooding and devastation to many areas in the region.[3]

The flooding in the south of France was purportedly the worst for at least 120 years, when records began.[4]

Preparations and impact Edit

United Kingdom Edit

Many warnings were issued for the storm by UK Met Office. The first being issued for 30 September for heavy rain across south west Scotland. This was a yellow warning, stating the possibility of localised flooding.[5] Further warnings were issued in the following days. Daily rainfall records were broken for many places. The highest fall reported as of 21:00 BST, the Met Office reported the maximum rainfall total to be 78 millimetres (3.1 in) at Liss, Hampshire, with the maximum gust of 71 mph (114 km/h) being recorded at Berry Head, Devon.[6]

Warnings Edit

Warning severity Event Date Areas affected
Amber Rain 3 October North Wales, South East Wales, South West England
Amber Rain 3 October North East Scotland
Yellow Rain and Wind 2 October South West England
Yellow Rain and Wind 3 October South Wales, Southern England
Yellow Rain 3 October South East England

France Edit

Sediment plumes in the Mediterranean Sea following devastating flooding in SE France linked to storm Alex

Departments in the south of France were particularly badly affected, with record breaking flooding and landslides. At least 5 people died.[7]

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ "Sun, 27 Sep 2020". 27 September 2020. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  2. ^ Météo-France [@VigiMeteoFrance] (1 October 2020). "1 dpt en #vigilanceRouge ; 8 dpts en #vigilanceOrange" (Tweet) (in French). Retrieved 3 October 2020 – via Twitter.
  3. ^ @WMO (6 October 2020). "500 mm of rain fell in southern France on Fri-Sat during a "Mediterranean episode" triggered by #StormAlex" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  4. ^ "2 missing after worst rainfall in 120 years triggers flash flooding in southern France". The Watchers. 21 September 2020. Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  5. ^ Met Office [@metoffice] (30 September 2020). "Yellow Warning issued Rain across parts of southwest Scotland Wednesday 0300-1200 Latest info Stay #WeatherAware" (Tweet). Retrieved 9 October 2020 – via Twitter.
  6. ^ Met Office [@metoffice] (2 October 2020). "Here are the UK top #rainfall totals and #wind gusts from #StormAlex Today's warning has now expired as Alex pulls away. However, further #wet and #windy weather is expected overnight and through much of the #weekend Stay #WeatherAware Warning" (Tweet). Retrieved 3 October 2020 – via Twitter.
  7. ^ "Storm Alex: Floods and landslides hit France and Italy". BBC News. 4 October 2020. Retrieved 5 October 2020.

External links Edit