As expected by most of the global and high-resolution models, ex-hurricane Leslie made intense landfall in western Portugal during the night October 13/14th. A ‘sting jet’ most likely developed on its rear side (southwest quadrant of the storm) and resulted in extremely severe wind gusts up to almost 180 km/h. Leslie made landfall with top sustained winds of 70 mph (115 km/h), just 3 hours after being declared post-tropical. Leslie maintained hurricane status into the far Eastern Atlantic to a location where no hurricane had ever been observed: just 200 miles west of Portugal at 15 UTC, Oct 13th. At 18 UTC, Leslie arrived over the cold 20 °C Atlantic sea waters while the cold front on its northwest accelerated it. Leslie then became an intense extra-tropical storm.

Hurricane Leslie first traveled very close to Madeira island on Saturday afternoon and resulted in major waves smashing the coastal areas.

Leslie then soon made the transition from a tropical into an extra-tropical storm. It rapidly moved towards the coast of Portugal in the evening hours. Attached is the Infrared satellite animation of the storm nearing Portugal.

Radar image & animation by IPMA agency revealed a healthy developed sting jet signature just an hour prior to landfall of Leslie near the city of Porto. A sting jet is a relatively localized jet of rapidly descending cold air inside a deep extratropical cyclone. It can bring wind gusts in excess of 150 km/h and cause extensive damage.

Here are the peak values recorded by the Meteorological agency of Portugal – IPMA (www.ipma.pt) during the late evening of October 13th:

176.4 km/h Figueira da Foz, Vila Verde
122.0 km/h Coinbra
120.2 km/h Aveiro
116.3 km/h Pampilhosa da Serra, Fajão
106.6 km/h Penhas Douradas
100.8 km/h Viseu
100.1 km/h Cabo Carvoeiro
99.0 km/h Lousa
97.6 km/h Leiria
97.1 km/h Ansiao
95.8 km/h Mogadouro
91.8 km/h Dunas de Mira
81.0 km/h Lisboa

Extensive damage in the town of Figueira da Foz where peak gusts up to 176.4 km/h were reported, numerous uprooted trees, damaged roofs and overturned trailers were reported!

Learn more about sting jets

What is a sting jet?