Variations in Monthly Maximum Gust Speed at St Mary's, Isles of Scilly (UK)

Marinella Masina, Dina D’Ayala, Alessandro Antonini*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Long-term variations in maximum gust speeds have been analyzed using wind measurements recorded at St Mary's, Isles of Scilly, UK, and possible drivers of recent changes have been investigated. A rigorous homogenization procedure has been applied to the wind records to remove discontinuities mainly caused by non-climatic changes. Trends in magnitude of the homogenized annual and monthly maximum gust speeds have been subsequently estimated. A significant (p < 0.10) decreasing trend of −0.102 m s−1/10 years is exhibited by the annual maximum gust speeds over the period 1928–2011, while a non-significant (p > 0.10) positive trend characterizes the entire period 1928–2020 of wind measurements. A turning point has been detected in the monthly maximum gust speed series in 2012, followed by a trend reversal. Distinctive differences in the gust trend pattern have been observed among the seasons, with increasing trend in summer, and winter gust speeds exhibiting decline in 1969–2011 and strengthening since 2012. Variations in the monthly maximum gust speeds appear closely related to changes in air temperature and latitudinal pressure gradients. Furthermore, the monthly maximum gust speeds show significant correlation with the main oceanic-atmospheric circulation patterns in the North Atlantic region. A synergistic effect among the phases of the dominant patterns of climate variability appears to explain the observed decline and recovery trends in winter gusts. Summer gust speeds show a positive correlation with the global land-ocean temperature deviations from the corresponding 1951–1980 base period mean.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2022EA002380
Number of pages31
JournalEarth and Space Science
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • climate indices
  • data homogenization
  • gust speed
  • Isles of Scilly
  • trend
  • wind stilling


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