DISCUSSION: As a strong low pressure system continued to push across several countries across northwestern Europe, there were very strong winds reported in association with its gradual progression across that region. More specifically, there was a maximum wind gust of 180 km/h (50 m/s) reported at the Laukukero weather station which is located in Lapland, Finland. These strong winds occurred as a direct result of the progression of the strong onshore flow which emanated from the North Sea as well as the Norwegian Sea. In addition, near the time at which the strongest winds occurred, the attendant cold front tied to the aforementioned low pressure system was moving through the region as well. Thus, the combination of these factors led to a strong wind event which also persisted for some time as well at this and other reporting stations from that region.
Through studying the lower image (courtesy of the University of Wyoming), you can see how northwestern sections of Europe were also positioned approximately halfway between a reasonably strong low pressure system and then a nearby high pressure system. Thus, the pressure gradient (i.e., the horizontal change in atmospheric pressure values over some given straight-line distance) fostered the windier conditions which ensued across the region over the past 12 to 24 hours. It is important to also note that the map shown in the lower image is a representation of the pressure field observed at the 850 mb level of the atmosphere (which is located approximately 1 mile or so above the surface of the Earth). Therefore, the pressure gradient and the corresponding winds will typically and in this case were a bit stronger aloft than at the surface. Though, evidently some of these stronger winds did manage to "mix" down to the surface as observed by the reporting station located at Lapland, Finland. Thus, all in all, one could say that it was "good kite flying" weather over in parts of northwestern Europe much earlier in the day on Tuesday.
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©2017 Weather Forecaster Claudia Pukropski