Storm Dennis, Massive Bomb Cyclone, Hits United Kingdom

Feb 15, 2020

Across the United Kingdom, people are experiencing another weekend of strong winds, heavy rain and potential flooding as Storm Dennis hits the region.

Two people have died off the coast of southeast England, The Associated Press reports. Their bodies were recovered from the storm's rough seas.

The U.K. national meteorological service, known as the Met Office, issued several heavy rain warnings for areas of England and Wales.

"Storm Dennis will bring another very unsettled spell of weather this weekend with a risk of flooding, particularly in parts of England and Wales and also southern Scotland, where snowmelt will add to the flood risk," Steve Willington, chief meteorologist for the Met Office, said in a statement.

Travel disruptions are also expected to increase. Hundreds of flights to and from Britain were canceled. Planes arriving earlier on Saturday faced tough landing conditions.

The Met Office also said that bus and train services are likely to be delayed or canceled. Difficult driving conditions and road closures are also expected.

The level of the River Ouse rises in York, North Yorkshire, on Saturday as Storm Dennis arrives. Experts have warned that conditions amount to a "perfect storm," with hundreds of homes at risk of flooding.
Oli Scarff / AFP via Getty Images

Storm Dennis is now one of the five strongest nontropical cyclones on record in the Northern Atlantic Ocean, according to The Washington Post.

The storm intensified rapidly over the ocean after combining with another bomb cyclone that had hit Iceland.

A minimum central air pressure of 920 millibars was recorded on Saturday, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Ocean Prediction Center. Lower air pressures mean stronger storms. The current pressure is similar to that seen in Category 4 hurricanes.

The Ocean Prediction Center reportedly said that as the storm strengthens into Sunday, the region can expect to see winds up to 98 mph and waves with possible heights of more than 100 feet.

Storm Dennis comes just days after Storm Ciara hit northern England, causing flooding and power outages. At least eight people died across Europe from that storm.

Emergency workers put barricades in place in York, North Yorkshire, on Saturday as Storm Dennis sweeps in over the U.K.
Oli Scarff / AFP via Getty Images
Pedestrians walk along the promenade as huge waves crash against the sea wall at Porthcawl, Wales, as Storm Dennis hits the U.K. on Saturday.
Geoff Caddick / AFP via Getty Images

With the ground still saturated, officials worry that Storm Dennis will cause even more flooding and property damage.

On Saturday, about 145 British army personnel and reservists helped set up barricades and repair others that were damaged in the West Yorkshire region in northern England, the AP reports.

"Our armed forces are always ready to support local authorities and communities whenever they need it," British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said told the news service. "The rapid response of the army today will help with provision of flood relief to local communities in West Yorkshire."

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Mytholmroyd residents look out over the flood barricades as soldiers increase defenses against Storm Dennis.
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Members of the 4th Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland erect flood barricades in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, as Storm Dennis sweeps in over the region.
Oli Scarff / AFP via Getty Images