SEA SURGE WARNING Britain on flood alert as Hurricane Nicole sparks HUGE Atlantic waves


The category-1 storm is currently charging northeastwards across the Atlantic with latest models showing landfall with Greenland by midweek

Currently whipping up winds of almost 80mph, Nicole is will more than likely have been downgraded to an ex-hurricane by the time it hits.

However intense low pressure associated with the storm will drag a colossal sea swell towards Europe and the UK, experts have warned.

Storm surges or swells are triggered when plunging air pressure causes local sea levels to rise into gigantic mounds of water which end up being dragged across the sea.

Resulting waves, which are much bigger and more powerful than those generated by seasonal winds, have previously devastated coastal regions with tonnes of water being thrown over sea defences.

Britons have been urged to remain vigilant in exposed regions over the next week with surfers warned to expect dangerous sea conditions and deadly rip currents.

Ocean charts show Iceland and Greenland in the firing line to take the brunt of Nicole’s fallout although strong winds and large waves are forecast around the UK coast later this week and into the weekend.

America’s National Hurricane Centre has raised the alarm with serious knock-on effects predicted around the United States, Europe and west Africa.

It has warned to prepare for “dangerous” conditions across the Atlantic including in waters around Europe.

A spokesman said: “Large swells associated with Nicole will affect Bermuda, the United States east coast, the coast of Atlantic Canada, the Bahamas, the Greater Antilles, and the Leeward Islands for the next several days, creating dangerous surf conditions and rip currents.

“These swells are also likely to reach Europe and the northwest coast of Africa in a couple of days.”

Hurricane Nicole is the strongest storm to hit Bermuda in the past 13 years having unleashed winds of more than 100mph across the Caribbean over the past week.

Although she is heading towards Europe the general effect on our weather further inland is likely to be minimal thanks to high pressure wedged over Scandinavia.

Although low pressure will whip up stormy ocean conditions in the near Atlantic, it will be held at bay by the Scandinavian high allowing Britain to dodge the worst of the wind and rain.

However coastal regions face several metre high waves over the next few days as the storm makes its way towards Europe.

By Wednesday wind speeds will still be around 50mph with a swell height of just under 40 feet, according to ocean surf models.

A similar sea surge hit the British coast in February 2014 leading to the collapse of a 100 feet stretch of seawall in Dawlish, Devon, and leaving a railway line hanging in mid air.

Major flooding crippled swathes of the southwest forcing people from their homes and closing shops and businesses.

Meteorology lecturer Chris Holloway, at the University of Reading, said the knock-on effects of Hurricane Nicole will largely be felt out to sea.

He said: “Out to sea and certainly near the storm you will have rough seas as you would with any storm like this, and this is due to the strong surface winds.

“Waves propagate out from the storm towards land, if there are strong winds in the Atlantic you will potentially have high waves.

“In terms of this storm, these could potentially affect the western coast of Scotland.”

Oceaonology charts show Nicole smashing into Greenland around Thursday before being deflected eastwards towards Britain.

By the weekend coastal regions will be buffeted by waves of between five and 10 metres with Scotland and the southwest coasts most at risk.

The effects of the storm then migrate to France and the northern Continent by the middle of next week.