Storm causes disruption in Rye area

Rye Storm 1 SUS-140723-114640001
Rye Storm 1 SUS-140723-114640001

A dramatic storm left its mark on Friday when it ripped across the Rye area.

The storm-front could be seen blowing across from miles away

When it hit it toppled trees and left many properties with no power.

A number of readers captured the storm in action including Rye Harbour based artist Mike Slavin and Vic Vicarey, from Pottingfield Road, Rye.

Ian Cobbey, from Peasmarsh, said: “You could see it rolling in. It ripped branches from trees and there were bits flying everywhere. We had no power until 11pm.”

Mike Slavin said: “The spectacular weather front came in rapidly at about 8.30pm. At the same time there was a tremendous increase in wind speed, going from calm to over 50 knots in 3 to 4 minutes.

“Birds were caught unawares and it’s one of the few times that seagulls were consistently flying backwards despite their very best efforts.

“A neighbour reported seeing a seagull pair shoving their two young fledgeling off a roof onto the ground to avoid them being blown away.

“What we saw is a good example of a Spanish Plume, a phenomenon where very warm and moist air from the Mediterranean and Spanish peninsula flows northward, encountering a cooler Atlantic air mass blocking its passage.

“The warm moist air is forced up over the cooler air mass leading to classic conditions for very strong thunderstorm formation with accompanying spectacular lightning displays. Because the air is forced up and becomes so unstable, a lot of condensation occurs in the cloud which rapidly falls out as rain, pushing the previously dry air in front of it.

“It is unusual to see Spanish Plume conditions more than once in a season; this, however, is the second in less than a month.

“The most spectacular was probably that in July 1994, much larger than the Friday storm; unfortunately that one was substantially after dark and kept us all awake all night.”

Mike, who is also part of the Rye REACT emergency team, said: “These storms can be very dangerous for people caught out of them and all the standard precautions should be observed – not standing under trees, sheltering in substantial buildings, make yourself as inconspicuous as possible if you are caught outside, and unplugging electrical equipment where possible if at home.”