Storm Event

Wave-dominated event causes considerable damages along two separate stretches of coastline

Severity ? 3


The storm developed over the US east coast on 23rd March 2010 and moved in a westward direction towards the UK. The atmospheric pressure deepened to around 980 mb as the storm approached Ireland. The storm crossed the Irish Sea and north England on March 30th and moved into the North Sea. This generated strong westerly winds over the English Channel. The storm then moved north and dissipated north of Iceland.

The available sea level observations from many sites around the UK coast did not reveal any sites where the sea level exceeded the 1 in 5 year return period threshold. The highest observed sea level return period of 1 in 3 years was observed at Leith.

We are unaware of any sources describing the wave conditions during this event.


Other than reports of overtopping at Llanddulas, we are unaware of any further information concerning the flood pathways during this event, despite the wave conditions leading to considerable damage to defences.

Receptor and Consequence

The combination of heavy snow, strong winds, and high tides caused flooding and hazardous conditions in areas of Wales and Scotland during this event (BBC, 2010; Met Office, 2010). The fire service was called to Llanddulas, Conwy where the sea wall was reportedly breached and Beach Road was inundated. One residential property here was evacuated. A further 5 properties were affected in Station Road due to overtopping. Other affected areas included Llanfairfechan and Rhyl. March 30th saw the highest mean tides of the year in parts of Scotland, which caused extensive flooding along the east coast, with impacted areas including St Andrews, Edinburgh, Fife and East Lothian (City of Edinburgh Council, 2012; SEPA, 2016). The City of Edinburgh Council expended £500,000 in repairing damaged defences in areas including Silverknowes Promenade, one of the worst areas affected.

Many major trunk roads around coastal Wales were closed or badly affected by the difficult conditions during this event (BBC, 2010).


  1. BBC, 2010. Spring snow and floods hit parts of Wales. BBC News. Available at: [Accessed September 1, 2014]
  2. Met Office, 2010. March 2010. Climate Summaries. Available at: [Accessed December 9, 2015]
  3. City of Edinburgh Council, 2012. State of the Environment Report – Chapter 23 Update (March 2012); Coastal flooding and erosion, Edinburgh, Scotland
  4. SEPA, 2016. St Andrews to Guardbridge (Potentially Vulnerable Area 07/16); Tay Estuary and Montrose Basin Local Plan District Section 2, Available at: