IT WAS the calm before the storm as was Leeds was today braced to be hit by a ‘Spanish Plume’.
The weather events are known to cause severe storms, flash flooding and even tornadoes. But forecasters say Leeds should escape the worst - although high temperatures will see the city swelter in muggy heat before thunderstorms hit tonight. (Aug 22)
Matt Martin of MeteoGroup said: “Leeds will see maximum temperatures of 24 degrees, maybe 25 tomorrow - above average for this time of year.
“We can’t be too specific with these plumes. They happen two or three times a year and can result in some extreme outcomes.
“Between 6pm and midnight tomorrow is the period with the highest risk of thundery downpours.”
“On Sunday the rain will push back westwards, so it will become dry late morning, but the risk of rain will return in the evening and overnight.”
A Spanish Plume occurs when a large southwards dip in the high altitude jet stream develops to the west of Europe, encouraging a deep southerly wind flow.
This pushes hot and humid air from Iberia north and north-east into northern Europe, including the British Isles.
The Spanish Plume can create a risk of tornadoes, although forecasters say there is a low risk of that this weekend.
With the final days of the summer holiday and a bank holiday weekend approaching, Mr Martin said we can expect unsettled weather next week, with showers and longer spells of rain, followed by some signs of high pressure towards the end of the week which could result in a good bank holiday.