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The Worst Gales You've Ever Seen


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Posted
  • Location: Portland, Dorset
  • Weather Preferences: Mixed winters and springs, thundery summers and meditteranean autumns
  • Location: Portland, Dorset

A few nights ago, I was reading about the widespread destruction brought about by severe gales on 27th October 2002. I clearly remember that Sunday morning, when the winds were practically far too strong to even think about walking in. Several mature trees in our local area were felled, as winds gusted up to 80 mph.

Not too many other events of severe gales stick out in my mind, a few others though were in: January 1990, November 1993, December 1993, February 1997, October 2000, December 2000, February 2002, March 2002, and January 2005.

Post your worst gales here!

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Posted
  • Location: Warminster, Wiltshire
  • Location: Warminster, Wiltshire

In the January 1990 storm me and my mates were almost hit by some school roof tiles that missed us by 5 metres :blink: .

I remember the October 2002 very well as on that Sunday morning I was picking up elderly ladies to drive them to church. While walking arm in arm with one of them we were almost blown over :o . The weirdest thing about that storm was that it was almost a totally sunny day <_< !

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Posted
  • Location: Barnehurst nr Bexleyheath, Kent
  • Location: Barnehurst nr Bexleyheath, Kent
In the January 1990 storm me and my mates were almost hit by some school roof tiles that missed us by 5 metres <_< .

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yeah, I remember that - we were sent home from school during that one, and I remember trying to walk home avoiding the school canteen roof which was peeling away

However, for me personally, the worst has to be the storm in Oct 1987 (I think we know what one we are talking about) although that was more than a gale LOL!

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Posted
  • Location: Portland, Dorset
  • Weather Preferences: Mixed winters and springs, thundery summers and meditteranean autumns
  • Location: Portland, Dorset
Boxing Day 1998.

http://www.net-weather.co.uk/forum/gallery...4_135_62994.jpg

Gave gusts of over 100mph in many locations around west Scotland. (Prestwick airport hit 103mph, I think!) Gusts to 93mph in central Glasgow. I was working that night and had to drive home through wheelie bins bouncing down the road, under half-fallen trees, past caravans (upside down) spinning in the road, on the pavement past fallen trees.

I live 20 miles west of Glasgow and it is estimated (by local yokels!) that we must have had winds gusting to 100mph. The devastation was incredible, many trees down, roofs off houses, etc.

According to S.E.P.A. (Scottish Environment Protection Agency) this storm had a return rate of once in 100 years. Just to throw a spanner in their works, the Jan 1968 storm (see below) killed 20 and damaged a massive 250,000 houses.

news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=104&id=43262005

The GFS chart doesn't look too bad (see Jan 15th 1968)

Try as well:

www.answers.com/topic/european-windstorm

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The european windstorm has some interesting dates.

Cheers.

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Posted
  • Location: Portland, Dorset
  • Weather Preferences: Mixed winters and springs, thundery summers and meditteranean autumns
  • Location: Portland, Dorset
In the January 1990 storm me and my mates were almost hit by some school roof tiles that missed us by 5 metres :blink: .

I remember the October 2002 very well as on that Sunday morning I was picking up elderly ladies to drive them to church. While walking arm in arm with one of them we were almost blown over :o . The weirdest thing about that storm was that it was almost a totally sunny day <_< !

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yeah, I could'nt believe what a lovely sunny day it was, with very isolated patches of cloud - as the gales ripped through our large oak tree (still in leaf), breaking branches, some of which are still 'hanging' in the tree, so we still have a souvenir of that storm! :o :o

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Posted
  • Location: Portland, Dorset
  • Weather Preferences: Mixed winters and springs, thundery summers and meditteranean autumns
  • Location: Portland, Dorset

In my initial post, I mention November 1993, which was a predominantly dry and cold month.

There were two deep depressions, the first ending a three week long dry (and very gloomy) spell, and brought a spell of rain with strong south-westerly winds on the 9th - but nothing out of the ordinary.

A second depression brought rain for a time on the 13th. I still remember this event as clear as yesterday: At midnight or so, we'd gone to a mates house after a night out in absolutely no wind at all. An hour later, I left to go home, and was astonished at the brutality of the wind. Severe northerly gusts howled throughout the early hours, and the noise made sleeping almost impossible. Most of the neighbouring fences were down by morning, and our greenhouse suffered damage too.

Have a look at the GFS archive chart for 0z, Sunday 14th November 1993. <_<

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Posted
  • Location: Edmonton Alberta(via Chelmsford, Exeter & Calgary)
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine and 15-25c
  • Location: Edmonton Alberta(via Chelmsford, Exeter & Calgary)

january 1990.. i was literally blown over walking back from college!

also the devastation of october 1987.. both this and 1990 i was living in essex...althought in 1987 the storm happened overnight (and i slept throught it)..the amount of damage the next morning was amazing to see!

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Posted
  • Location: Lindum Colonia
  • Location: Lindum Colonia

I remember gales in Devon one year and the tent nearly blew away, probably round 1985 ish

I also remember walking home from school with a mate and a tree branch blew straight between our heads then when I got home the chimney was on the path outside my house, would that be '87 cos I'd be about twelve.

Also Autumn 2000 we had gales because we were having a loft conversion done and part off the roof was off.

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Posted
  • Location: Nr Appleby in Westmorland
  • Location: Nr Appleby in Westmorland

I remember the 1987 storm all too well, but the gales in january this year lasted longer and were accompanied by more rain, so were actually more scary.

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I remember one day in school in around 1989 and we were sent home early due to potential damage to the school roof. We had to walk into the wind on the way home, we could only walk at around 45 degrees into the wind, it was impossible to go straight into the wind.

I live in a very prone spot to high winds, about 5 miles from Mumbles weather station which gets 90mph gusts most years. Living on top a hill exposed to winds over the Bristol Channel and quite often I have feared that windows are going to get broken.

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Posted
  • Location: Portland, Dorset
  • Weather Preferences: Mixed winters and springs, thundery summers and meditteranean autumns
  • Location: Portland, Dorset
Xmas Eve 1997.  They were bad and it was quite frightening. I thought the window was going to blow in

Late Feb 1990 (Towyn flood) was bad.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I remember that, and Christmas day was also very windy with gales, quite nasty in the morning.

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Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

Christmas Eve 1997 was very windy in South Tyneside but there was no damage, a similar statistic held for the Boxing Day 1998 and Christmas Eve 1999 storms.

The severest gales I can recall in this region, and that caused at least some structural damage, happened on the following dates:

6 November 1996

27 February 1998

28 January 2002

22 February 2002

8 January 2005

I also recall gales on 8 November 2001 (Tyneside) and 7 February 2004 (Lancaster), these were not damaging but were notable in that they were accompanied by large hailstones, sleet/snow showers, and in the former case even thunder.

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Posted
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District. 290 mts a.s.l.
  • Weather Preferences: Anything extreme
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District. 290 mts a.s.l.

By far the worst gale I've experienced was that of Feb' 16th 1962. It's the only time I've seen trees actually falling and roof tiles being stripped off, like flocks of small birds taking wing. A huge amount of property damage was sustained, especially in the suberbs of Sheffield.

Equal second worst would be Jan' 2nd 1976 and Jan' 25th 1990.

T.M

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Posted
  • Location: Chichester, West Sussex
  • Location: Chichester, West Sussex

The 87 storm I was on Exmoor, it was heart breaking seeing all the trees come down. The landscape changed over night and whole forests were blown down.

I think it was January 1990 when there was a big storm came up the channel that effected parts of the south coast of England and northern coast France and Germany, I was based in Germany as this storm hit and many mature trees in our camp were blown down on to accommodation blocks trapping some of the lads in there beds. The powers to be thought it was a good idea to set off the mortar alarms to wake everyone up to start the rescue effort so you can imagine for the first few minuets it was complete and utter chaos thinking we were under some sort of attack. Luckily there were no fatalities.

One of the most exciting storms I have experienced was October 1990 I had just moved to a house on farmland just outside Selsey, West Sussex. I was living in a caravan in the garden as I was doing the house up. Over the weekend we had some really quite strong storms, houses in Selsey were being flooded from the sea and the environmental agency was working around the clock trying to stop the beach being washed away and the sea flooding the whole of Selsey including were I was staying. It was one hell of a storm and I remember the caravan breaking its tie downs on a number of occasions. On the Sunday night after receiving a phone call from my mum wanting me to move in to the house after reassuring her that I everything was ok I went to bed with one hell of a thunderstorm overhead. As I lay there being rocked to sleep by the caravan being buffeted by storm force winds, looking out of the window I saw some ball lightning (I was a Torro Member in those days so I reported it to them). I finally dropped of to sleep to wake in the morning in total silence, it was strange after the storm the silence was unnerving so I climbed out of bed and opened the caravan door to be faced by carnage all around me. There were bits of sheet metal and other debris all over the place. I was gob smacked and couldn’t understand what had happened, still in my underpants I steped outside and walked to the end of the caravan to look out into the field were I was met by a group of firemen running towards me shouting are you ok. In shock I said yes why what’s happened, they informed me that a tornado had swept through the caravan site on the other side of the field and initially they had thought my caravan had been thrown to its present location, I explained no its my caravan and that everything was ok. I went and got changed and got my tractor and spent the next to days help clean authorities and locals clean up.

I have experienced a lot of different weather in different parts of the world from cyclones in Australia to whiteout blizzards in Norway but Selsey was quite a strange experience.

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Posted
  • Location: Kingdom of Fife: 56.2º N, 3.2º W
  • Location: Kingdom of Fife: 56.2º N, 3.2º W
Boxing Day 1998.

http://www.net-weather.co.uk/forum/gallery...4_135_62994.jpg

Gave gusts of over 100mph in many locations around west Scotland. (Prestwick airport hit 103mph, I think!) Gusts to 93mph in central Glasgow. I was working that night and had to drive home through wheelie bins bouncing down the road, under half-fallen trees, past caravans (upside down) spinning in the road, on the pavement past fallen trees.

I live 20 miles west of Glasgow and it is estimated (by local yokels!) that we must have had winds gusting to 100mph. The devastation was incredible, many trees down, roofs off houses, etc.

According to S.E.P.A. (Scottish Environment Protection Agency) this storm had a return rate of once in 100 years. Just to throw a spanner in their works, the Jan 1968 storm (see below) killed 20 and damaged a massive 250,000 houses.

news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=104&id=43262005

The GFS chart doesn't look too bad (see Jan 15th 1968)

Try as well:

www.answers.com/topic/european-windstorm

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yep, that '68 storm was a doozie! Although it had moderated a little by the time it got to Fife there was still damge done and a tree was blown down in a field opposite our house. Going to Glasgow for a Dunfermline footy match I was in awe at the devastation wreaked. Trees down, fallen masonry and tennaments with roofs torn off.

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Posted
  • Location: Colchester, Essex, UK (33m ASL)
  • Location: Colchester, Essex, UK (33m ASL)

1987, I spent that night, drenched to the skin, dodging debris, saving cats, dogs and rabbits from their living areas, I was lodging at a family's who reared dogs, cats and rabbits, and also looked after police and RAF dogs, show dogs, show rabbits etc. The living areas for the animals was severely flooding in the small hours of the night. We didnt lose any animals and all were fine.

The place the next morning tho, was a mess, a conservatory gone, the animal areas needed much repair and drying out, a garage roof severely damaged, the kennel section had no roof, the lane (the place had a half mile drive way) was flooded for most of its length and wasnt passable for at least a week, trees down everywhere on the grounds and on the meadow round the back of the house. I spent most of the following week, chainsaw in hand, clearing trees and bushes. Across the railway embankment, a holiday caravan park, many of the caravans turned over, some smashed, it took them some time to get straight for the next season.

Once I could get to work, the journey to work, through North Essex and into Suffolk to Woodbridge was amazing, bits of trees laying all over, waterlogged fields, damaged buildings. Definitely a storm I wont forget, and havent seen the like of since.

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Posted
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield
  • Weather Preferences: Any Extreme
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield

2nd storm in the SE and 80 mph unforecast gusts in Sheffield the winter just gone.

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Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

9th February 1988 certainly looks vicious. From the historic synoptic charts, there would also appear to have been big storms on 13 January 1984 and 4 January 1991, can anyone shed any light on either of those two dates?

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Posted
  • Location: Portland, Dorset
  • Weather Preferences: Mixed winters and springs, thundery summers and meditteranean autumns
  • Location: Portland, Dorset
9th February 1988 certainly looks vicious.  From the historic synoptic charts, there would also appear to have been big storms on 13 January 1984 and 4 January 1991, can anyone shed any light on either of those two dates?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I vaguely remember both dates.

13th January 1984 storm was followed by a veer to the north with many snow showers and polar lows.

4th January 1991. I remember this being forecast the evening before, and going to bed after friends of the family had gone. It was very calm, and cold with wispy high cirrus cloud. By the next morning, the rain bearing fronts were already clearing, and a few winrty showers followed on a very strong westerly wind, with gales.

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Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam
9th February 1988 certainly looks vicious.  From the historic synoptic charts, there would also appear to have been big storms on 13 January 1984 and 4 January 1991, can anyone shed any light on either of those two dates?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Here's the short article I wrote into the TWO archive about the Jan '91 storm

6th January 1991 Severe Gales

On the 5th and 6th of January 1991, a vigorous low tracked across northern Scotland bringing severe gales along its southern flank across Ireland, England and Wales. There were gusts up to 70mph+ and these brought down trees and power lines. Thousands of homes were blacked out across Ireland and the southwest, the same areas that were just recovering from the Christmas 1990 storm.

13 people died as a result of the gales, 7 in Ireland when a tree crashed onto a minibus.

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Posted
  • Location: Portland, Dorset
  • Weather Preferences: Mixed winters and springs, thundery summers and meditteranean autumns
  • Location: Portland, Dorset
Here's the short article I wrote into the TWO archive about the Jan '91 storm

6th January 1991 Severe Gales

On the 5th and 6th of January 1991, a vigorous low tracked across northern Scotland bringing  severe gales along its southern flank across Ireland, England and Wales. There were gusts up to 70mph+ and these brought down trees and power lines. Thousands of homes were blacked out across Ireland and the southwest, the same areas that were just recovering from the Christmas 1990 storm.

13 people died as a result of the gales, 7 in Ireland when a tree crashed onto a minibus.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Awful :(

Yet, the rest of the month really did quieten down with high pressure stuck close to the UK for weeks.

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Posted
  • Location: Shrewsbury
  • Location: Shrewsbury

Late Jan 2002- took down a 100-ft tree a few hundred yards from where I live- heard an almighty crash in the night and there it was, lying in the road.

I agree about Xmas Eve 1997- that was a vicious one, caused a lot of power cuts round here.

Also 20th March 2004 had a bit of a bite, lots of branches down and difficult to stand up.

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