Storm Event

Severity ? 1


The storm developed about 1500 km offshore of the east coast of the US on the 26th February 1931 and moved northeastwards towards Newfoundland, Canada. The storm remained here, relatively stationary until the 3rd March and then travelled eastwards towards France. Central pressures deepened to about 970 mbars. The storm approached and crossed the Atlantic coast of France on the 7th of March and dissipated over Europe on the 8th March. While interacting with an anti-cyclone over northern Norway, the storm generated strong southerly to southeasterly winds across the UK. Gale force winds with gusts up to 63 knots were recorded at exposed places across the UK on the 6th and 7th March (Met Office, 1931).


Only two tide gauges from the national network were operational at the time, so it is difficult to assess the spatial extent of the storm surge. Water levels exceeded the 1 in 5 year return level at one site, Newlyn. Here the return period water level was 8 years. The corresponding skew surge was 0.24 m. The event occurred at peak spring tides.

Receptor and Consequence

This event was associated with flooding in Rhos-on-Sea (Zong and Tooley, 2003; Haigh et al., 2015).

Summary Table

Loss of life *
Residential property *
Evacuation & Rescue *
Cost *
Ports *
Transport *
Energy *
Public services *
Water & wastewater *
Livestock *
Agricultural land *
Coastal erosion *
Natural environment *
Cultural heritage *
Coastal defences *

*No known sources of information available


Affected Sites

Name Return Period ? Water Level ? Tide ? Skew Surge ? Date ?
NEWLYN 8 6.15 5.91 0.24 6th Mar 2031 06:00


  1. MetOffice, 1931. Monthly Weather Report: March 1931. Available at:
  2. Zong, Y. and Tooley, M. J. A. (2003). ‘Historical Record of Coastal Floods in Britain: Frequencies and Associated Storm Tracks’. Natural Hazards, 29, 13–36. Available at: (Accessed: 5 March 2015).
  3. Haigh, I. D., Wadey, M. P., Gallop, S. L., Loehr, H., Nicholls, R. J., Horsburgh, K., Brown, J. M., and Bradshaw, E., (2015). ‘A user-friendly database of coastal flooding in the United Kingdom from 1915–2014’. Scientific Data, 2, p.150021. Available at: