I see that today is the 25th anniversary of the Great Storm of 1987.  Wiki describes it thus:

The Great Storm of 1987 occurred on the night of 15–16 October 1987, when an unusually strong weather system caused winds to hit much of southern England and northern France. It was the worst storm to hit England since the Great Storm of 1703 (284 years earlier) and was responsible for the deaths of at least 22 people in England and France combined (18 in England, at least four in France).

According to the Beaufort scale of wind intensities, this storm had winds of hurricane force; however, the term hurricane refers to tropical cyclones originating in the North Atlantic or North Pacific. Hurricanes have a very different wind profile and distribution from storms, and significantly higher precipitation levels.

The storm was declared a rare event, expected to happen only once every several hundred years.

There are still bitter memories of the fact that nobody really saw the storm coming and therefore got caught flat-footed when it hit.

I only mention the anniversary because I happened to be spending the year in London and so went through it myself.  I recall hearing the wind blowing pretty strongly that night but had no idea of just how strongly.  It was only the next day when I got a dekko at the damage, both in the neighborhood and on telly, that I began to grasp the scope of the thing.   I was living in a house just off Wandsworth Common and remember the number of great, huge trees uprooted there.  Ditto when I trudged into Westminster and Kensington to have a look round.  Out in the countryside, it was much worse.  Curiously, I do not recall that we ever lost power, but then again I believe the lines might have been buried.

Call it Robbo’s Brush With Historickal Meteorological Greatness.   Not that I hold the family record – that goes to my brother, who was a 1st year med student in Charleston when Hurricane Hugo hit.   They drafted all the med school people to work triage during the storm, so he went right through it.

Advertisements