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Drenching rain, gusty winds to bombard London to Madrid next week

AccuWeather logo AccuWeather 10/16/2020 Courtney Spamer

Forecasters say a pattern change is coming for western Europe that will send stormy conditions into the region by early next week.

Following a dry weekend across much of western Europe, the first of several storms will approach from the North Atlantic Ocean.

"A feature high up in the atmosphere just to the west of Europe will be responsible for hurling several storms eastward early next week," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys.


Each of these storms will bring with them a round of heavy rainfall and burst of stronger winds.

"A swath of 50-100 mm (2-4 inches) of rain is expected from southern Portugal and southwestern Spain through western France and into the British Isles into Wednesday," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Rob Richards.

While wet weather could start in northwestern Spain, western Portugal and Ireland on Sunday night, the heaviest rainfall will likely wait until Monday and Tuesday.

map © Provided by AccuWeather

Exactly where each storm tracks will determine the location of the heaviest rainfall. At this time, the most likely locations are in northern Portugal and northwestern Spain, where an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 150 mm (6 inches) is possible.

Much of the Iberian Peninsula, outside of the far northeastern part of Spain, has been abnormally dry in autumn and could use the rain.

"There are slight drought conditions across parts of Portugal and western Spain, areas that could really use the upcoming rain," said Roys.

These drought conditions have helped trigger the development of wildfires across the Iberian Peninsula through the summer and into early autumn.

Before the rain even arrives, some residents may experience a surge of gusty winds Sunday night and Monday.

Widespread wind gusts of 64 km/h (40 mph) could extend from Spain and Portugal through western France and into England, Wales and Ireland. Even faster wind speeds are possible, but the exact timing of the strongest gusts, like the heaviest rain, will depend on the exact track and timing of each storm.

Isolated power outages and travel delays could ensue with the onset of these winds. However, it is possible for winds to become even more impactful.

"It is not out of the question that one of these storms could strengthen enough to become a windstorm. However, the complexity of the pattern makes it difficult to tell which one," Roys explained.

Should one of the storms strengthen enough to become a named windstorm, it would likely pack wind gusts of at least 80-97 km/h (50-60 mph), especially at windward facing coasts and at the higher elevations. Winds of this magnitude are capable of causing tree damage and power outages, as well as dangerous cross-winds for travelers.

The last windstorm to hit Europe this season was Storm Alex, which struck at the beginning of October. Damaging winds and flooding rainfall swept through much of Europe, including in France and Italy where mudslides swept floodwaters through towns. Between the two countries, at least seven people were killed due to the storm's impact.

a house with a mountain in the background © Provided by AccuWeather
Situation in the valley of Saint Martin de Vésubie, ten days after the passage of the storm Alex which hit Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur in the South of France, October 12, 2020. (REUTERS/Abaca Press)

Storm Alex also brought unusual weather to Paris during the time of the rescheduled French Open, as well as torrential rain to the British Isles.

The U.K. Met Office confirmed on Friday that the rainfall from Storm Alex on Oct. 3 set a new record for United Kingdom. The agency said the storm produced so much rainfall that it would have been enough to fill all of Loch Ness.

Back in August, AccuWeather meteorologists predicted that several windstorms could impact western Europe this season, before the meat of the windstorm season gets underway in winter.

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