Picture Post: The calm before the storm in Scarborough’s bay

Just before stormy weather swept across Britain, a dog walker on Scarborough’s South Bay beach made the most of a vivid sunrise as the sun peeped over the horizon.

PIC: Tony Bartholomew
PIC: Tony Bartholomew

This photograph was taken last week, 24 hours before the unusually mild October weather gave way to something altogether more autumnal.

With a Met Office wind warning in place, gusts of up to 100mph were recorded in some parts of the country causing traffic chaos on both road and rail. In Yorkshire, the worst of the storm appeared to have passed through overnight and by late afternoon on Tuesday, the tail end of Hurricane Gonzalo had petered out.

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However, while the county may have escaped lightly this time, experts predict that we should be prepared for more extreme weather in the future.

According to a report issued by the Met Office earlier this year, the UK is likely to see wetter, milder winters and hotter, drier summers in the long term due to global warming.

Its scientists have also predicted that occasionally that pattern is likely to be disrupted by very cold winters, like the one of 2010-11, and very wet summers, like that of 2012.

The Met Office has already warned farmers they could see a repeat of last year’s devastating winter floods this year. The forecaster recently published its three-month outlook for October to December, which said there was a 25 to 30 per cent probability that the UK would see “well-above-average” rainfall this winter.

However, in the next breath, and fully aware its scientists could be accused of sitting on the fence, the report noted that there was a 15 per cent chance the country would experience a drier than normal winter. “There are many competing factors that determine what our weather will be like in the coming month,” a Met Office spokesman told Farmers Weekly.

“It’s a bit like the science equivalent of factoring the odds on a horse race and like any horse race, it’s always possible the favourite won’t win.”

Technical details: Camera: Fujifilm X-T1, XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6R LM OIS WR lens at 26mm setting. Exposure 1/170th at f5.0, -0.67 EV. ISO 1600.

Picture: Tony Bartholomew

Words: James Nuttall