Weather conditions during the 31 Sqn SAAF re-supply operation on 12 October 1944

This account has been kindly presented by Brian Booth who is a professional meteorologist.

The weather chart for the evening of 12 October shows a slow moving weather front across the western Mediterranean, lying from the Balearics to Nice and thence northeast across Western switzerland. Its eastward movement was erratic and not helped by the development of a depression south of Nice.

Weather conditions on take-off from Celone were good with light winds and thin broken layer between 8000 and 10,000 ft. Cloud amounts increased to total cover over the Apennines and remained thus for much of the remainder of the operation. Flying north-northwest along the west coast of Italy cloud tops remained at 10,000 ft., but over the dropping zones (DZs) there were reports of cumulus cloud pushing through the layers to 13,000 ft., and banks of cumulonimbus and thunderstorms to the west.

Weather chart for midnight on 12th October 1944

The aircraft were flying above the cloud, probably around 15,000 ft where the wind was from the southwest at 15-25 mph.

The layer cloud thickened as the aircraft flew towards DZs, with the base lowereing to between 5000-7000 ft. Further cloud below made it difficult for crews to identify the DZs. There was no moon during the evening and the thick cloud cut off what little light was given by stars.

Over the DZs the winds were light and variable near the surface but at 7-10,000 ft probably west-southwest about 10 mph.

Although the debrief reports indicated that the overcast conditions continued all the way along the return leg, observations from Rome indicate the cloud had actually cleared.

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Weather Conditions in the month of October 2008, 2009 AND 2010
This account has been given by Lynne Jolley. Lynne and her husband Vic are English residents in the area

Lynne has studied and recorded the local weather and has watched storms making their way up the valley at tremendous speed making for Neirone. The most ferocious storms of the year seem to occur during the mid/late part of October as listed below. This kind of weather may have sprung up at about this time in 1944. Did this weather affect KH158 ?

2008 - October 29th, 30th and 31st
Gale force winds, torrential rain, thunder and lightning

2009 - October 9th, 10th, and 21st.
Torrential rain, thunder and lightning.

2010 - October 16th and 24th
Torrential rain, thunder and lightning.