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[MN] Winter is Coming

Odinson

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Autumn was now well underway throughout Europe, and soon winter would be upon the continent. With the past months having been some of the most economically stable and politically stable for quite some time, many people around the continent were starting to get more comfortable as they settled down and prepared for Christmas.

At the beginning of November, temperature data from the North Sea and Norwegian Sea would appear to be strangely low and stable. As the month of November went on, water temperatures in those parts of the Atlantic continued to get colder and colder. By November 15, the North Sea and Norwegian Sea were well below their normal temperature range. For example, surface seawater temperatures off the coast of the Faroe Islands would normally be anywhere from 10-12 degrees Celsius in mid-November. However, by November 15, measurements were reading 5 degrees or below. Temperatures of seawater around the Norwegian Island of Jan Mayen were at 1 degrees Celsius, while they would normally be about 3-4 degrees this time of year. Something also of note was that water temperatures in the Labrador Sea (off the coast of southern Greenland) were much warmer than they normally were, just as temperatures in the Norwegian and North Sea were much colder than normal. So far, temperatures off the coast of the Shetland Islands, Northern Scotland, and Norway appeared to be within normal ranges.

Any nation with scientists, ocean-based buoys, scientific research ships, or other scientific monitoring equipment in these areas would be able to detect these temperature anomalies. For anyone to possibly discern what the anomalies mean, however, they would first need to notice the data.
 

Odinson

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This is the response of Norway, NOT an official MN Event response

Norwegian scientists stationed on Jan Mayen island were very curious about the near-freezing seawater temperatures. What was especially interesting, though, was that the temperatures were consistently going down and that it didn't seem to be an anomaly. The lead scientist at the research station ordered for most of the major monitoring equipment to be recalibrated. Meanwhile, a call was made to scientists in Svalbard to ask if they were having any temperature anomalies in their part of the Arctic.
 

Odinson

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This is an official MN Event response. Please note that European players who aren't directly mentioned are free to reply to this thread (and encouraged to do so).

It's now November 25. Seawater temperatures around Europe have continued to collapse in quite a dramatic fashion. For example, the Faroe Islands which would normally have seawater temperatures around 7-8 degrees Celsius this time of year have fallen to 0 degrees. Waters at the mouth of the Themes estuary off the coast of London should be 11-12, but they are now hovering around 6-7. Almost the entire Baltic Sea, which should be anywhere from 5-8 degrees, has fallen to mostly freezing or maybe 1 degrees. Despite the fact that scientists in most of Western and Northern Europe have failed to notice these dramatic changes so far, they can no longer be ignored. Oceanographers and meteorologists alike would quickly be able to come to the conclusion that ocean temperatures in the Northern Atlantic were in a freefall.

So far, however, the inactivity of governments means that state-operated meteorological and scientific services have done little to no research into what is occurring. As of now, they only know that ocean temperatures around Europe are spiraling down. The fall in ocean temperatures of this caliber around Europe is unprecedented for at least the last 400 years, so it would make sense that it would cause much alarm.

So far, most civilian weather authorities in the British Isles, Scandinavia, and parts of Western Europe have only detected air temperatures slightly below average. However, they don't have to national/governmental coordination of sovereign governments or universities, and may not be noticing regional or global atmospheric trends.


::::::::::::::::::::


UNITED KINGDOM
During Prime Minister's Questions, a backbencher from the Highlands of Scotland began to speak after being recognized by the Speaker of the House of Commons.

"Thank you, Mister Speaker," the MP said in his thick, highlander accent. He looked through his reading spectacles at a paper he was holding, and began his prepared question.

"Mister Speaker, I have here a message from a friend of mine from the University of Edinburgh, Dr. Jacob Williams. He's written an email to me with some pretty startling information. He says that he and other scientists from the university have taken ocean temperature readings off the coast of the Outer Hebrides. He says that their temperature readings are at, or just one degree above freezing when the waters there should be about ten degrees this time of year. One of my constituents, who is a fisherman from Inverness says he and his colleagues haven't caught a thing in the past week. Mister Speaker, has the Prime Minister spoken to anyone at the Met Office or from the Department for Environment about these temperature abnormalities?"

The MP was done speaking, and waited for the Prime Minister's reply.

"Prime Minister," said the Speaker as he recognized him to answer.
@Jamie


::::::::::::::::::::


KINGDOM OF IRELAND
Tourists and citizens alike complained of the unusually cold waters in the Irish Sea. Irish fishermen were also reporting that yields were significantly down, and some were voicing concerns to the new Irish government that there may have been some kind of oil spill or environmental disaster that has killed the fish. Another interesting anomaly is that on that day, November 25, it did not rain anywhere in Ireland. In fact, the skies were totally clear, and the air was very calm.
@Dragon


::::::::::::::::::::


ITEMS OF INTEREST
1. No government or public institutions know, or have inquired as to why, European sea temperatures are falling.
2. No one is aware why fishing in the Norwegian Sea and North Atlantic has suddenly become very lackluster.
3. No nation has ordered an organized effort into observing any large-scale ocean or atmospheric temperature changes north of Europe.


::::::::::::::::::::


Below is a representation of the changing OCEAN temperatures. The colors are coordinated to temperatures in Celsius. The first map are what normal ocean temperatures would be for November 25, the second map is what the temperatures actually are right now.

Polar Ice Cap Pink
-2 Violet
-1 Purple
0 (Freezing) Blue
1 Light Blue
2 Turquoise
3 Green
4-7 Yellow
8-10 Orange
11+ Red

(Normal November Ocean Temperatures)


Polar Ice Cap Pink
-2 Violet
-1 Purple
0 (Freezing) Blue
1 Light Blue
2 Turquoise
3 Green
4-7 Yellow
8-10 Orange
11+ Red

(Current Ocean Conditions)
 
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Dutchy

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The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research would issue a directive to the Royal Netherlands Institute of Sea Research to begin investigating the anomalies being detected in the nearby waters. The institute would deploy the RV Pelagia to begin testing of the nearby waters in an attempt to try and understand what was happening.

The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, seeing a rise in extreme temperature anomalies especially after the summer heatwave, would contact the all active scientific organisations within Europe, contacting them in the hope of cooperation for the investigation into the cooling waters.
 

Zak

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At the University of Oviedo in the Asturias region, specifically in one of the science laboratory's, a group of masters degree students would be hard at work but one student was browsing the internet as he gathered information for his final end of term assignment but his eyes brought him to a forum which a lot of fishermen across the European region had been posting about the anomalies and that they had not been gathering enough from their trips. Lots of theories had started running through the students head and decided that he would report this to his teacher in the hopes that they could research into the issue.

Hours after the first discovery by the student, the evidence had been quickly passed up the chain of command to the Minister of Science, Innovation and Universities and then onto the Minister for the Ecological Transition who had began meetings with each other to discuss a strategy to monitor the on goings and hoped that it would not spread into Spanish waters.

The General Director of Sustainability of the Coast and the Sea who was a senior member of the Ministry of Ecological Transition would head to Gijón in the north of Spain with a team of five scientists where they would meet the student and his professor where they would begin to gather information and would monitor any changes.

The Civil Guard would inform any ships in the region such as fishing trawlers to report any changes that they may think that is happening to them and then they would pass it onto the researchers in Gijón.
 
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The Irish Government would watch the pattern of events with a feeling of intense curiousity advising all fishermen to report any such changes regarding fish population or water temperature. Apart from that the government would maintain its normal hands off policy towards commerce and the like.
 
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This is an official MN Event response. Please note that European players who aren't directly mentioned are free to reply to this thread (and encouraged to do so).

The date is still ~November 25.


KINGDOM OF THE NETHERLANDS
Scientists aboard the RV Pelagia would at first think their equipment was malfunctioning. Water temperatures off the coast of The Netherlands were reading a cold 4 degrees when they would normally be around 13 this time of year. Never in the modern era had temperatures here been recorded below 11 degrees this time of year. It was a new record, and completely uncalled for. Data alone for this one location was not enough to come to any conclusions, but if the situation was similar throughout the rest of Europe, it was apparent that there had been some major change or anomaly in either the atmosphere or hydrosphere or both.

The Royal Netherlands Institute of Sea Research also found something else interesting. While the North Sea was within the natural range of Atlantic Cod, fishermen seemed to be filling their quotas incredibly fast. Public reports and complaints from around northern Europe and Britain, however, indicated that their yields were exceptionally low.


::::::::::::::::::::


KINGDOM OF SPAIN
Reports to the Civil Guard from Spanish fishermen were probably the opposite of what they were expecting. Fishermen off the coast of Spain were quickly filling their quotas due to what seemed to be an unusually high number of fish in the area. This burst in resource availability was putting it on track to be the most productive fishing season in at least the last 50 years. The Spanish scientists found that while their waters were not incredibly cold, they were a few degrees cooler than normal, and appeared to still be dropping. One of them, perhaps the professor, may have gotten the idea that there could possibly be a major disruption of normal patterns in either the atmosphere or hydrosphere that were causing these changes. However, they would need more shared data and observations to find out what was going on.


::::::::::::::::::::


KINGDOM OF IRELAND
Reports flooded in to the Irish government of frustrated fisherman and trade unions. While they were still bringing in yields, they were noticeably reduced, especially for those who were fishing far north from Ireland.


::::::::::::::::::::


KINGDOM OF NORWAY
While temperatures were normally very cold in and around Jan Mayen, things were getting much colder. Ocean temperatures there were now decidedly Arctic, and air temperatures were dropping as well. Scientists on Svalbard would face similar findings. The small meteorological centers on Jan Mayen and Svalbard were able to observe that the Icelandic Low, which is part of the North Atlantic Oscillation, was weakening, and its center was migrating west towards southern Greenland (its center would normally be over western Iceland).


Image of the "Icelandic Low", a semi-permanent low that normally exists between Greenland&Iceland at varying strengths.
 
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This is the response of Norway, NOT an official MN Event response

Minister of Environment, Oscar Lund, was drinking a cup of coffee, he had just gotten off the phone with scientists from Jan Mayen who were giving him updated atmospheric information. After a short series of knocks on his office door, his secretary brought in a number of folders.

"Mister Minister," she said. "The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, and the Spanish Ministry of Ecological Transition are both requesting data about what's happening off the coast of Svalbard and Jan Mayen. They're reporting very unusual sea temperatures as well."
"Yeah," he said as he picked his hands up in frustration, "let's share what we have, because quite frankly this seems to be a lot bigger than just the Arctic or Norwegian Sea."

All relevant scientific data for this issue that the Ministry of Environment had was shared with the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. This included below freezing waters off the coast of Jan Mayen and Svalbard, the exceptional lack of fishing stocks off the coast of northern Norway and the aforementioned territories, and data that suggested that Icelandic Low was both weakening and migrating away from Iceland and towards southern Greenland. He also gave the contact information for scientists on Jan Mayen, Svalbard, and other Norwegian scientific outposts in Norway and overseas territories.

Scientific data was also shared with the Spanish. Shortly after this order was given, it appeared that there was a call from the Spanish Minister of Ecological Transition for Minister Lund.
 

Jamie

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With Jericho Bourne recently making his return to the United Kingdom from Norway, it was safe to say the first House of Commons Session regarding the temperature was unexpected; especially given the consideration that he had just climatised to low temperatures he felt in Norway. The Prime Minister, patiently silent until the Member of Parliament from Scotland pitched his question, before responding:

"I would like to thank my honourable friend for the question. With my return flight entering London yesterday, I unfortunately haven't been able to attend such a meeting as of yet. I do, however, have a meeting at the Met Office tomorrow regarding these concerns. I am aware other countries within Europe have also opened a conference call which the Secretary of State for Climate Change will be entering and representing the country. We will be sure to release an update on that, and my meeting with the Met Office tomorrow."

Government and non-government Departments, including that of the Met Office have combined efforts to carry out their own testing, reading through their own weather forecasts to determine any possible issues directly relating to the United Kingdom.
 
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This is an official MN Event response. Please note that European players who aren't directly mentioned are free to reply to this thread (and encouraged to do so).
NOTE: The date is now December 7.



UNITED KINGDOM & KINGDOM OF NORWAY
British meteorologists did not find anything unusual on the surface when it came to weather, except that it appeared that air temperatures around Europe were slowly starting to dip below average. This was occurring on a large and regional scale in and around Europe. By December 1st, however, oceanographers, marine biologists, and climate scientists at the Met Office (who also had access to Norwegian data from Jan Mayen and Svalbard) clearly saw the trend of lower sea temperatures was not only consistent throughout Europe, but that they were still falling. Sea temperatures around northern Scotland were now -2 degrees Celsius. This was the same temperature that seawater was in the Arctic Sea. Waters just off the coast of New Castle were at freezing, while waters off Bristol and the Themes estuary were about 1 degrees. Data being shared by the Norwegians also showed the air temperatures in Svalbard and Jan Mayen were in a freefall.

A young climatologist who worked for the Met Office in London was working overtime late at night. He was trying to interpret the waterfall of data they were now getting from around Europe. By 1AM, he was getting ready to turn in for the night, when he received a copy of a very disturbing message from the Norwegian scientific outpost on Jan Mayen It was addressed to the Norwegian Minister of Environment. It read:

::::::::::::::::::::

NORWEGIAN METEOROLOGICAL INSTITUTE
JAN MAYEN METEOROLOGICAL OBSERVATION STATION, JAN MAYEN
SUBJECT: REQUESTING EVACUATION /// SEVERE WEATHER /// COMMUNICATION LOSS IMMINENT

7 DECEMBER 2012
02:03
MINISTER LUND,

WE HAVE BEEN GRAVELY MISTAKEN. THE WEATHER IS GETTING SEVERE ON THE ISLAND.

-TEMPERATURES HAVE FALLEN FROM -3 DEGREES CELSIUS TO -25 DEGREES CELSIUS, AND POSSIBLY STILL DROPPING.
-WIND GUSTS OF 119 KILOMETERS PER HOUR CONFIRMED [NEVER RECORDED, NEW RECORD. WORRYING].
-SEA TEMPERATURES CANNOT BE MEASURED TODAY, ICE NOW SURROUNDING ISLAND.


DATA CONFIRMS THAT A MAJOR HIGH PRESSURE FRONT IS OVER JAN MAYEN NOW, MIGRATING SOUTH. EXPECT MAJOR TEMPERATURE AND WEATHER ANOMALIES IN COMING DAYS. FOCUS SCIENTIFIC EFFORTS ON STUDYING ANOMALY. CONTACT SVALBARD FOR MORE DATA. WIND GUSTS ARE STRESSING STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY OF BUILDINGS ON JAN MAYEN. LOSS OF COMMUNICATIONS EXPECTED AT ANY MINUTE. WE WILL COMMUNICATE OVER EMERGENCY LONG-DISTANCE RADIO FREQUENCIES IF TEXT-CHAT NO LONGER AVAILABLE. I AM IN THE OBSERVATION STATION, I NEED TO RETURN TO OLONKINBYEN TO UPDATE OTHERS. THIS STRUCTURE NO LONGER SAFE.

REQUESTING EMERGENCY EVACUATION OF ALL JAN MAYEN PERSONELL. MAY NOT BE POSSIBLE IF WEATHER CONTINEUS TO GET WORSE. WILL CONTINUE TO SEND DATA AS LONG AS POSSIBLE.

ALEXANDER PEDERSEN
CHIEF SCIENTIST OF JAN MAYEN
NORWEGIAN METEROLOGICAL INSTITUTE


::::::::::::::::::::

The young climatologist, named Edwin, checked new data from the Arctic which confirmed that a high pressure system was raging over Jan Mayen, and that it was indeed moving south. However, because it was coming directly from the Arctic, this was no normal front - it couldn't be. After doing some math on the size of the front, how quickly it was growing per hour, and it's trajectory, he quickly came to the conclusion that a major Arctic Oscillation was inbound to Britain, and would possibly be large enough to consume all of Europe. While this wasn't exactly unheard of, an oscillation of this size was, not to mention the powerful wind, precipitation, and temperature changes coming with it. After triple checking his work, he called the Chief Scientist of the Meteorological Office who made it there by 2AM London time. The Chief Scientist then called the Chief Executive of the Met, who was official in charge of the agency.

Whichever MP that was responsible for their Department was then woken up, and given the information. The Chief Scientist informed him that a "wave" of severe weather would make contact with the Faroe Islands in 12 hours, northern Scotland in about 16 hours, and would be over London in less than 24 hours. He underscored that this was an exceptional weather phenomena, and would likely be a disaster. Because all of Europe was asleep, it appeared that the scientists at the Met Office were the first ones to do the math on the Arctic high pressure system and come to the conclusion that it was a severe Arctic Oscillation.
@Jamie


::::::::::::::::::::


KINGDOM OF SPAIN
As they were around Britain, water temperatures around the rest of northern and most of western Europe continued to fall. Spanish scientists were now able to detect that their waters were approaching 7 degrees to their north, which is very unusual. Also, it appeared that the bountiful number of fish that their fisherman were previously catching had now decreased in the north, and were continuing to move south.

The same student who first noticed the articles about the fishermen had another idea when he heard that the number of fish being caught to the north was decreasing, while it was increasing in the south. He believed that the fish may be instinctively migrating south toward warmer waters. What at first confused him was that Atlantic Cod and other fish were use to the harsh weather in the North Sea, Norwegian Sea, and the Atlantic Ocean. But then he had the idea, "What if this isn't a temporary temperature drop, and the northern Atlantic is too cold for the fish that are endemic (native) to that part of the sea?"

To test his hypothesis, he met with another grad student who was studying under an oceanographer at the university. Because no one was actively taking data in all of the North Atlantic at the time, they couldn't see the temperatures of all the waters, but from what they could gather, surface and subsurface ocean temperatures had dropped to -2 Celsius (comparable to the Arctic), when they would normally be well-above freezing. What normally kept the north Atlantic warm (and prevented London and Oslo from being as cold as northern Quebec) was a single current that made up the massive Global Thermohaline System. This current went north-east from the mid-Atlantic and brought with it warm, tropical seawater between Iceland and the British Isles. It then became cold, and reverted south. This warm current was critical to the habitability and temperate climate of most of Europe.



The two graduate students believed that the only thing that could be causing water temperature to drop so low is that there has been some major disruption of the current of the Thermohaline Circulation that warms Europe. Because the rest of the world was reporting near-average temperatures, it seemed that this was a disruption of Europe's current, and not a total shutdown of the entire system. While they didn't have all of the evidence to back this up, if this hypothesis was correct, it would be the first time that this happened in modern human history, and it could have the potential to be one of the most devastating natural disasters since The Year Without a Summer. If this were true, the consequences could be not bad, but dire for every nation from Norway to Italy, and from Spain to Turkey.
@Zak


::::::::::::::::::::


KINGDOM OF THE NETHERLANDS
The RV Pelagia was now detecting sea temperatures as low as 2 degrees Celsius off the coast of The Netherlands. The bountiful number of fish being caught had now dwindled, giving some Dutch scientists the idea that the fish may be trying to escape cold waters to the North. By December, it was obvious that this was not a temporary anomaly, this was a serious event which was breaking a large number of records at home and abroad. Scientists aboard the RV Pelagia knew that it should be impossible for Dutch waters to get this cold, due to the aforementioned Thermohaline Circulation. Something was terribly wrong - perhaps a disruption of the circulation itself.

With the increased activity in the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, a paper that had been published by Dutch astronomers quickly spread throughout the agency. It concluded that sunspot activity had dropped significantly since September, and that it was very low. This would contribute to colder weather, which Europe was only slightly experiencing now, but it was likely a predicter for weather soon to come. Dutch scientists were not aware of everything known or discovered by climatologists and oceanographers in other countries yet, but many of them had a hunch that Europe was entering some kind of "Perfect Storm" scenario.


Image of Polar Low.

Dutch meteorologists, using data sent to them from the Norwegian territory of Svalbard, were able to detect a large Polar Low forming in the Barren Sea. Polar Lows have not been extensively researched yet, but a simplistic way of explaining them was that they are cold hurricanes/cyclones. These weather events were not as severe as tropical hurricanes, normally, and almost never posed a threat to major population centers because of where they normally occurred (in the Barren Sea, for example). This one, though, was unusually large and appeared to be moving south. Conventional wisdom would say that it should clear up in the next few days.
@Dutchy


::::::::::::::::::::


OCEAN TEMPERATURES CONTINUE TO GET COLDER

Recorded on 25 November 2011 (Old)


Polar Ice Cap Pink
-2 Violet
-1 Purple
0 (Freezing) Blue
1 Light Blue
2 Turquoise
3 Green
4-7 Yellow
8-10 Orange
11+
Red

7 December 2011 (Current)
 
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Retroliser

-Insert Intriguing Title Here-
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Due to being too busy returning Turkey to normality after President Erdogan's deposition, The Ottoman Government had been busy focusing on internal matters to the detriment of foreign affairs and external events. Now though, with life almost back to normal, the attention of the cabinet could turn outwards. Finally taking the time to familiarise themselves with the unusual events regarding the temperature of the sea in northern Europe. Unfortunately, the dissolution of The Republican state apparatus meant all assets that could investigate the changes were lost. For now, Ottoman Turkey would have to just watch, wait and hope.
 
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The fishermen reported their findings to the Civil Guard and most fishing trawlers returned to port with the last bits from their catch. Some still stayed out but due to the harsh climate, they wouldn't catch much so after a while they would also return to port as they awaited answers from the government as fishmongers now had to ration supplies to make them last.

The two university students had been hard at work, lots of coffee had been consumed and lots of food had been eaten as they continued the long process of testing out many theories that sprung into mind and then they ultimately decided that this could be a potential natural disaster, the biggest since the Year Without a Summer, a lot of research went into this to gather statistics and compared with those of the current day.

The team of scientists in northern Spain would continue to monitor the decreasing temperatures and became worried as they kept falling, all data would be passed up to the Minister of Ecological Transition to feed onto other European nations.
 

Jamie

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The reports from Edwin, an operator in the Met Office were taken seriously by the UK Government. Aware of the disturbing drops of temperature across Europe which has sparked mass concern from a variety of Scientific Offices amongst European Countries had marked the evacuation request as urgent. The Norwegian Government have been forwarded the details of the request for their own records and informed that a contingent of the Royal Air Force will be deploying to support the evacuation of those on. The idea was to get there sooner rather than later to ensure a safe evacuation with no threat to the aircraft. A C130 from the Royal Air Force, No. 5 Squadron A Flight was assigned to the evacuation Operation. Preparations for deployment was expected to take a couple of hours before airborne, ensuring the C-130 was at it's core temperatures, adjusting the setup to ensure it was ski-equipped for any problems from the weather. The crew included RAF Medical Staff, along with supplies in the cargo compartments of food, water and medical supplies; but little enough to keep the plane light.

The Pilots, military-trained and with plenty of experience were to navigate the aircraft to Jan Mayensfield Airstrip on Jan Mayen. Whilst aware through warning of the weather they face, they were instructed to review their course routinely. Ensuring they did not put their own lives on the line, only landing to evacuate those on the island if one-hundred percent confident of their success. Due to the aircraft been based at Brize Norton, they'd initially move to the most north airport in Scotland to refuel before making the journey. An A330 MRTT was also to be active in the north to offer refuelling if required; grounding itself when needed but otherwise offering a chance for the C-130 to refuel if needing to go around, or the return journey back. Naturally the A330 would avoid straying too far north to the bad weather as they'd need to be able to offer air to air refuelling safely. When on the ground at their destination if given the opportunity, the C-130 could refuel then.

Within a couple of hours, the C-130 had set off from Brize Norton, refuelling in Scotland before making for it's destination at the discretion of the pilots. They would only proceed if confident enough to land and handle any weather thrown in their direction, otherwise they would call it off for re-attempt when conditions improve, if at all.
 
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