The 1987 Great Storm – Winter Weather on a Devastating Scale

In the winter in the UK, we expect to have a bad time of it with the weather (in fact we expect this in the summer too!) We can often experience changeable weather as well as many different types of weather in one day, depending on the various weather fronts around at the time. Before winter rolls in, it is always sensible to do things to make sure your home can stand up to the great British weather – from making sure that your fence is secure in the garden to making sure that if your heating is not performing as it should that you get a professional like this boiler repair Gloucester based company to come and fix it for you, before the really cold and icy weather sets in.

However, in 1987 there was a weather event in Britain which took everyone by surprise, including the weather forecasters themselves – here is what happened on that eventful night of the great storm…

In October of 1987, the weather in the UK was predictably wet and windy at times – nothing out of the ordinary though. In the week leading up to the storm, weather forecasters were predicting that the weather in around a week or so would become more unsettled with some stronger gusts of wind and a lot of rain, but they thought this would mostly pass south of England and was not a cause for any alarm.

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However, on a night that will always go down in history, the 15th of October, TV weatherman Michael Fish was presenting the weather that evening. Whilst on air he mentioned that a member of the public had called in to warn that a hurricane was on the way – he said on air that this phone call had been received but that it was not correct, although there would be heavy rain there was no sign of a hurricane hitting England that night.

Unfortunately, the caller had been right and the South and the South East of England experienced very high winds that night. Trees were uprooted and blown over, some onto roads and some onto buildings causing damage. There were also 18 deaths caused by the storm and transportation was disrupted as boats were sunk and airports like Gatwick were closed down due to the high winds, on the coast of Sussex the highest wind speeds were measured of around 90 knots.

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Although the storms high winds caused a great deal of damage, it is believed that the fact that it happened in the night and the early hours of the morning meant that it’s impact was lessened – for example if it had happened during rush hour it could have caused many more fatalities and injuries as people trying to get into work and school would have been caught up in it.

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