|The Great Storm over the Tyne bridge|
|The Tyne Tunnel was a bit of a no go area|
It’s not everyday that lightening hits the Tyne Bridge but it did last Thursday when the North East saw a rare “supercell” thunderstorm which wreaked havoc across the Geordie landscape. Supercells are apparently most often found on the Great Plains of the United states rather than the Great North Road through Newcastle Upon Tyne, but if anything was going to convince those global warming sceptics, then this just might be it. Torrential rain swamped streets and crippled road and rail networks when a fortnight of rain fell in less than an hour. Houses and shopping centres were flooded and the Tyne tunnel resembled the lazy river ride in God’s Great Waterpark Adventure. Roads were cut off in matter of minutes and people were stranded in their cars for hours or just abandoned them to their watery fate.
|There’s always one…|
The East Coast mainline saw trains cancelled, but that’s not really news as they can be cancelled for any number of random reasons at the drop of a peaked station master’s hat. Students, as they so often do, saw the funny side and proceeded to canoe down the urban streets in a jovial manner.
|Canoeing in the street! Ahoy, what fun Tarquin!|
People whose houses were flooded and possessions soaked were less jovial about the whole affair which seemed not to have been forecast by our greatest meteorological minds. My friends eighty year old mum had her shed windows broken by hailstones the size of gobstoppers which also brought down the washing line with all its attached washing.
|Not an amphibious vehicle|
Now I know this is not a Tsunami -but this is extreme weather for Blighty, even with our dreadful British Summer track record. Imagine if it had happened when the Olympics was on? It would have brought a whole new dimension to the synchronised swimming competition..
Apparently the whole shebang was caused by a phenomena called the ‘Spanish Plume.’ Warm dry air from the Spanish plateau sits on top of more warm, humid air and acts like a lid until the pressure builds and it explodes up into the atmosphere. I just happened to be on that red hot Spanish plateau at the time and it made a jolly nice change from here I can tell you.
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