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Potential weather disruptions at LGW/LHR on Thursday afternoon/evening

Potential weather disruptions at LGW/LHR on Thursday afternoon/evening

Old Aug 11, 15, 4:50 pm
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Potential weather disruptions at LGW/LHR on Thursday afternoon/evening

The public weather forecast is quite confident that there will be thunderstorms and associated low visibility / precipitation events coming up from the continent on Thursday around mid-day. There does not seem to be any issue about the necessary airmass with hot and humid air to do this coming up, rather the timing and path it will take when it goes over the South East.

So, if you have a flight on Thursday mid morning to late evening from LGW or LHR on BA...you may want to watch the forecast closely both tomorrow and Thursday to see how this develops and remember that at least LHR is at capacity so any thunderstorms are going to mess up the schedules...

Not trying to scaremonger, hoping rather to inform and suggest you watch the situation and be flexible to deal with any delays or cancellations of short haul...which usually come with this type of weather.

I'll try to update the thread with TAF forecasts when they apply to the period but this won't be until tomorrow really (UK time). The current TAF only runs until midnight of Wed/Thurs, so we really need to wait for the 13:00 issue of the TAF tomorrow to see how the forecasters are thinking things will develop.

I hope the weather tracks elsewhere and I end up looking an @ss...but just in case.

Safe travels.

You can see the current public forecast via the BBC here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/

using the video embedded in the page on the right hand side.
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Old Aug 11, 15, 6:42 pm
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Thanks

Appreciate the heads-up. We arrive on Thursday AM from the US. Will definitely carry on the raincoat and umbrellas. (Short walk from Earls Court tube stop to hotel. Bringing 9 year old on his first overseas journey. Remember when travel was fun, novel and exciting? )
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Old Aug 11, 15, 8:18 pm
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I too appreciate the heads-up.

My 21 year old daughter is travelling on her first international trip with a short window for her connecting flight at LHR on Saturday. Sounds like she will miss the worst of it thankfully.
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Old Aug 11, 15, 8:59 pm
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Originally Posted by kbins View Post
Will definitely carry on the raincoat and umbrellas.
Surely anyone who has been before knows that you should always do that for a trip to the UK, regardless of forecast or time of year!
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Old Aug 11, 15, 9:42 pm
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Originally Posted by maulermark View Post
I too appreciate the heads-up.

My 21 year old daughter is travelling on her first international trip with a short window for her connecting flight at LHR on Saturday. Sounds like she will miss the worst of it thankfully.
I would still prepare your daughter with a list of alternate flights/airports just to be on the safe side along with the appropriate phone numbers she can call in case her flight is delayed/cancelled so she can avoid the lines. Also show her the Manage My Booking Tool on ba.com so she can change to an alternate flight if needed.
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Old Aug 12, 15, 12:13 am
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Return to LGW on Thursday, then transferring to LHR to complete ex-EU to DUB. Fair to say any disruption may well be heading our way. But will just have to wait and see.
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Old Aug 12, 15, 1:47 am
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And possibly involving Friday as well (DOI - pm flight to AMS on Fri and this time last year ended up with a 6 hour delay returning from AMS due to similar weather)
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Old Aug 12, 15, 3:28 am
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First thoughts from the airport forecasts...

An update to show first thoughts on how things will develop and later see if they are showing things earlier/later and better/worse than first thought.

Gatwick first (as it will be the London airport that is affected first as the weather comes up from the South)

Aerodrome forecast (not public which may differ) issued today at 06:05 local UK time, valid until Thursday at 13:00.

TAF: EGKK 120505Z 1206/1312 06008KT 7000 -RA FEW040 BECMG 1206/1209 9999 NSW PROB30 TEMPO 1304/1312 7000 SHRA BKN014 PROB40 TEMPO 1305/1312 05015G25KT 4000 +SHRA BKN008 BKN040CB

There are currently still some low clouds with slightly reduced visibility in steady light continuous rain. with winds from the East at 8 knots.

The conditions will become much better between now and 10:00 this morning with excellent visibility and no significant clouds.

There is a 30 percent chance of temporary periods between 05:00 tomorrow and 13:00 tomorrow of slightly reduced visibility in moderate rain showers from convective clouds covering most of the sky based at 1400 feet above ground.

(up to this point nothing too bad)…

To end the forecast and with as much certainty as is possible for predicting such things (40% is allowed, anything higher can’t be a probability it has to be more definite):

Probability of 40% of temporary periods between 06:00 and 13:00 Thursday of stronger winds (Easterly at 15 knots) with gusts up to 25 knots, moderately reduced visibility down to 4 Km in heavy convective rain showers with a ceiling (mostly cloudy) of low stratus formed from the precipitation based at 800 feet with another layer of cloud at 4000 feet (which is the Cumulonimbus thunderstorm cloud responsible for the poor conditions and weather) above that.

So, right now, Gatwick is certainly expecting the thunderstorms to affect conditions tomorrow morning to around lunch time. (generally the forecast seems to suggest that events will happen a bit quicker than expected last night.)

The forecast doesn’t cover the periods after lunch tomorrow (yet) but the thoughts are that these conditions (occasional thunderstorms and weather) will continue into Friday…

Now on to Heathrow: (same period for validity and issue)

TAF: EGLL 120456Z 1206/1312 06008KT 9999 FEW040 TEMPO 1304/1310 7000 SHRA BKN012 PROB30 TEMPO 1306/1309 05016G27KT 4500 TSRA BKN008 BKN030CB

Generally for the next while they will have decent conditions with no rain and good visibility and a few low clouds.

Expecting temporary periods between 05:00 and 10:00 tomorrow (Thursday) of slightly reduced visibility down to 7 Km in moderate convective rain showers from a mostly cloudy base at 1200 feet (again not bad at all and shouldn’t affect operations so far…)

Heathrow is slightly less certain (or willing to commit) and showing 30% probability (which is a catch all rather than being confident it will be occurring) of temporary periods between 07:00 and 10:00 tomorrow morning of similar strong Easterly winds of 16 knots gusting to 27 knots in moderately reduced visibility down to 4500 meters in thunderstorm and moderate rain (not possible as continuous rain not possible from a convective cloud but we’ll skim over that…read moderate convective rain showers) in mostly cloudy stratus cloud formed from the precipitation based at 800 feet above ground with the Cumulonimbus that causes all this weather based slightly higher at 4000 feet covering most of the rest of the sky.

So, currently, Gatwick is more certain (which is fair as the current forecast shows the storms heading more North West in direction after making land fall…) and Heathrow is covering their butt but not committing quite yet.

Let’s see what they do at the next issue of the airport forecast at 12:00 today….

Hope this is of use and interest. Any questions please do ask and I’ll try to answer (or others welcome to as well)
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Old Aug 12, 15, 3:36 am
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Originally Posted by maulermark View Post
I too appreciate the heads-up.

My 21 year old daughter is travelling on her first international trip with a short window for her connecting flight at LHR on Saturday. Sounds like she will miss the worst of it thankfully.
Just to add that on Saturday the air mass will have moved so that we won't have the moist warm air causing these conditions any longer so anyone travelling on Sat / Sun won't be affected (from what we can tell this far out), only those tomorrow and Friday might be affected.

Hope she has a good trip and everything goes well (and the storms miss the airports!). Best tell her to remember her sense of adventure and take things with humour if she is affected! Being polite and friendly will get her everywhere if things do get affected.
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Old Aug 12, 15, 3:36 am
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So an excuse for my favourite pas time, looking at TAFs! (I don't get much ):

LHR
TAF EGLL 120456Z 1206/1312 06008KT 9999 FEW040
TEMPO 1304/1310 7000 SHRA BKN012
PROB30
TEMPO 1306/1309 05016G27KT 4500 TSRA BKN008 BKN030CB
It looks like for tomorrow between 0400 and 1000 there is forcast rain showers with broken cloud at 1,200ft.

Also with a 30% probability there is forecast between 0600 and 0900 stronger winds of 16kts gusting to 27kts from 050 degrees - expect the 09 runways to be used but there is a bit of a crosswind, thunderstorms rain, broken cloud at 800ft and some broken cumulonimbus cloud at 3,000ft. So it does seem that some disruption tomorrow morning can be expected.

Broken could means 5/8 to 7/8 coverage.

LGW
TAF EGKK 120505Z 1206/1312 06008KT 7000 -RA FEW040
BECMG 1206/1209 9999 NSW
PROB30
TEMPO 1304/1312 7000 SHRA BKN014
PROB40
TEMPO 1305/1312 05015G25KT 4000 +SHRA BKN008 BKN040CB
Again similar for LGW tomorrow, at a 30% probability from 0400 to 1200 we have rain showers, and broken cloud at 1,400ft. At a 40% probability between 0500 and 1200 we have winds from 050 of 15kts gusting to 25kts - expect 08R to be used and a bit of a crosswind component (not quite as large as LHR), heavy rain showers, broken cloud at 800ft and some broken cumulonimbus cloud at 4,000ft.

So in summary, some delays possible tomorrow in the morning.
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Old Aug 12, 15, 3:37 am
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Originally Posted by BotB View Post
An update to show first thoughts on how things will develop and later see if they are showing things earlier/later and better/worse than first thought.
......
You must type a lot quicker than me!
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Old Aug 12, 15, 6:58 am
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Updated TAFs

LHR
TAF EGLL 121103Z 1212/1318 06008KT 9999 SCT040
TEMPO 1305/1311 7000 SHRA BKN012
PROB40
TEMPO 1305/1310 05015G25KT 3500 +SHRA BKN008 BKN040CB
PROB30
TEMPO 1316/1318 05015G25KT 3000 +TSRA BKN012 BKN030CB
LGW
TAF EGKK 121058Z 1212/1318 06012KT 9999 FEW040
PROB40
TEMPO 1303/1310 05015G25KT 4000 +SHRA BKN008 BKN040CB
BECMG 1315/1318 VRB03KT
TEMPO 1316/1318 4000 +SHRA TSRA BKN008 BKN040CB
The morning forecasts for tomorrow look pretty much the same, but now forecasts for the afternoon and early evening (1600-1800) with heavy thuderstorm rain, low clouds, and winds for LHR, and heavy showers & thunderstorm rain for LGW. Seems that there may be disruption for both in the evening as well as the morning.
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Old Aug 12, 15, 7:16 am
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Some fine mesh models are still going for 100mm of rain in some parts of the S/SE (Thames Valley??) I see more disruption in travel to and from the airport if that much rain falls.

The TS may well be confined to the coast and head out east towards AMS; but then again TS are very difficult to pin down!

It will be wet
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Old Aug 12, 15, 7:31 am
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I love the fact we have our resident weather expert on hand
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Old Aug 12, 15, 7:34 am
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Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
Updated TAFs

LHR

TAF EGLL 121103Z 1212/1318 06008KT 9999 SCT040
TEMPO 1305/1311 7000 SHRA BKN012
PROB40
TEMPO 1305/1310 05015G25KT 3500 +SHRA BKN008 BKN040CB
PROB30
TEMPO 1316/1318 05015G25KT 3000 +TSRA BKN012 BKN030CB

LGW

TAF EGKK 121058Z 1212/1318 06012KT 9999 FEW040
PROB40
TEMPO 1303/1310 05015G25KT 4000 +SHRA BKN008 BKN040CB
BECMG 1315/1318 VRB03KT
TEMPO 1316/1318 4000 +SHRA TSRA BKN008 BKN040CB


The morning forecasts for tomorrow look pretty much the same, but now forecasts for the afternoon and early evening (1600-1800) with heavy thuderstorm rain, low clouds, and winds for LHR, and heavy showers & thunderstorm rain for LGW. Seems that there may be disruption for both in the evening as well as the morning.
Thanks KARFA and smckay good info

Interestingly, (and it may still change back to less of a certainty / threat) LGW aerodrome forecast is now showing a certainty (no may happen about it as the forecast shows TEMPO rather than PROB) of thunderstorms in the evening from 17:00 local time onwards...(from the daytime heating of the cloud tops combined with the energy potential of the air mass and moisture available). LHR is still saying it is a chance rather than a certainty and has shown that if it happens it will be a bit worse than previously thought (lower visibility of 3000 meters in heavy rain<which still isn't low enough to be honest compared to what it will be if there are heavy rain showers and thunderstorms at the airport>)

In the morning hours both do see the highest probability of some flight restrictions due to low cloud ceilings (800 feet) and gusting winds with the heavy rain but not expecting the thunderstorms to really kick off until late afternoon.

Will be interesting to see how the models do once the system moves up a bit more from Spain and how the air mass is tracking once it hits landfall (should be late this evening)...There will be greater certainty of where things are going and how serious they will be once the system arrives in the UK and gets modified (which is hard to get right until it actually happens).
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