04 Nov 2022
04 Nov 2022
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Meteotsunami in the United Kingdom: The hidden hazard

Clare Lewis1,2, Tim Smyth2, David Williams6, Jess Neumann1, and Hannah Cloke1,3,4,5 Clare Lewis et al.
  • 1Department of Geography & Environmental Science, University of Reading, Reading, UK
  • 2Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Prospect Place, Plymouth, Devon, PL1 3DH, UK
  • 3Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Reading, UK
  • 4Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
  • 5Centre of Natural Hazards and Disaster Science (CNDS), Uppsala, Sweden
  • 6WTW, 51 Lime Street, London, EC3M 7DQ, UK

Abstract. This paper examined the occurrence and seasonality of meteotsunami in the United Kingdom (UK) to present a revised and updated catalogue of events occurring since 1750. Previous case studies have alluded to a summer prevalence and rarity of this hazard in the UK. We have verified and classified 95 events using a developed set of identification criteria. The results have revealed a prominent seasonal pattern of winter events which are related to mid latitude depressions with precipitating convective weather systems. A geographical pattern has also emerged, highlighting three ‘hotspot’ areas at the highest risk from meteotsunami. The evidence reviewed, and new data presented here shows that the hazard posed by meteotsunami has been underestimated in the UK.

Clare Lewis et al.

Status: open (until 18 Dec 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • AC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-1145', Clare Lewis, 07 Nov 2022 reply
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-1145', Anonymous Referee #1, 24 Nov 2022 reply

Clare Lewis et al.


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Short summary
Meteotsunami are globally occurring water waves initiated by sudden air pressure changes linked to cyclones, squalls, thunderstorms and atmospheric gravity waves. Previous research has suggested that in the UK, meteotsunami are rare waves generated by summer precipitating convective storms. However, this paper presents an up dated catalogue showing a larger percentage of winter events linked to small precipitating convective weather systems behind the cold fronts of mid latitude depressions.