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30 Years On..the Great Gale Of 1976


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Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

    When the year 1976 is mentioned whilst talking about the weather nearly everyone talks about the famous summer but there was a weather event that was far more deadly and is now largely forgotten, eclipsed by that remarkable summer.

    On the evening of 2nd January of 1976, a deepening depression moved across Scotland and deepened as it moved into the North Sea. The central pressure of the low at midnight was 968mb. On the SW flank of the low, there were severe gales with gusts up to hurricane strength. The severe gales were at their peak from 8Pm to 12am and the worst hit areas were a band from Ulster across the Irish Sea to Lancashire down through the Midlands into East Anglia. 100+mph gusts were recorded in this area, places like Wittering, recording a gust of 105mph, Cromer:- 102mph, Norwich:- 100mph and at Middlesborough, 114mph. The highest gust recorded was 134mph at Lowther Hill, Strathclyde.

    The severe storm caused an enormous amount of damage, every road out of Norwich was blocked with over 600 trees in the city itself uprooted. Nearly every county there was reported structural damage with fallen roof tiles and collapsed chimney pots, a newly built ferry at Liverpool was sunk and there were massive power failures. 24 people died as a result of the Great Storm of 1976.

    http://www.wetterzentrale.de/archive/ra/19...00119760103.gif

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    Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.

    I remember it well - I spent the night in Euston Station due to O/H wire damage... :)

    At the time, I couldn't understand why PCs kept disturbing my sleep. But looking back - the drape coat and brothel creepers mightn't have helped much? :D

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    Posted
  • Location: Sydney, Australia
  • Weather Preferences: Snow!
  • Location: Sydney, Australia

    indeed, this is the very first time i have ever heard of it, only ever heard of the summer- a severe event it seems which would have affected my area. Thanks for that Mr Data.

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

    Apart from reading a bit about it in Philip Eden's Weatherwise, I didn't really take any notice of this storm- until I saw it on the historic chart archive!

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    Posted
  • Location: Aberdeen 33m asl
  • Location: Aberdeen 33m asl

    The Low on this chart produced hurricane force winds (74mph), with gusts of 108mph at Cromer for example - the highest recorded gust was 134mph at Lowther Hill, Strathclyde. An hour prior to this chart, every road out of Norwich was blocked by fallen trees and in Rugby, a large traffic sign was bent by the wind as if were cardboard! Altogether, damage over the country as a whole was estimated at £100 million, a high enough figure to knock quite a sum off the shares of insurance companies on the Stock Exchange.

    The depression produced a storm surge in the North Sea and by a stroke of luck, did not coincide with the high tide, even though the water remained above danger level for 6 hours. The improved sea defences helped and were not breached significantly apart from in Cleethorpes where over 100 homes had to be evacuated.

    This was my description of events in my 'What's the best chart ever' thread in the Sypnotic chart section. <_<

    Edited by Zerouali lives
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    • 5 months later...
    Posted
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

    It looks as the there was a confluence in the Jet Stream directly over the British Isles.

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    • 3 months later...
    Posted
  • Location: Powys Mid Wales borders.
  • Location: Powys Mid Wales borders.

    This is one of the charts I`ve been looking for as my parents remember this as being the most severe storm they`ve ever known,they could hardly stand up in the wind and the one that brought the most trees down here and it blown a shed flat to the ground with hens in it,but they all lived amazingly,I must of slept through it,I was a bit young then.

    :rolleyes:

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    • 5 years later...
    Posted
  • Location: Alresford, Near Colchester, Essex
  • Weather Preferences: As long as it's not North Sea muck, I'll cope.
  • Location: Alresford, Near Colchester, Essex

    This event sparked my interest in the weather, as a young kid.

    I remember being kept awake by it on the night of 2nd January and noticing the number of mature trees that had fallen in Brightlingsea, Essex, the next day. Naively I thought that workmen who were clearing them from people's gardens had actually cut them down at first!

    I'd think that in Norfolk, this weather event must have eclipsed any storm since and probably for many years beforehand too.

    Like others have said though, it's largely forgotten.

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    Posted
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks

    This article, link below, is by the man of Bartlett infamy who was on duty for part of the storm at Wittering.

    http://toolbar.inbox...69&tp=bs&lng=en

    the photograph has him as a Fellow of the Meteorological Office rather than Society-not a lot of Met Office Fellows so that is rather amusing-in fact none-the title does not exist but otherwise an interesting read.

    Edited by johnholmes
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    • 9 years later...
    Posted
  • Location: Hampton and Fairfield, Evesham , Worcestershire.
  • Weather Preferences: Love Weather, Hate the Spin and Lies to do with our Planets Climate.
  • Location: Hampton and Fairfield, Evesham , Worcestershire.

    Yes remember this well although I was barely 7 years old! 1976 was the year which later inspired my love of our weather. The big gale of January 2nd , although 46 years ago now still is in the top five wind storms here of all time. The scorching summer that year and the severe thunderstorms in September made 1976 one of the most interesting weather years. We did have a power cut in that storm, I remember my dad trying to hold up and support a sixfoot  fence to no avail and he cut his leg. ,! Inside the house the storm was just as terrifying as I remember the comedy show on tv was on "It ain't half hot mum" my young four year old sister was crying ,then the power went out.......

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    Posted
  • Location: Cheshire
  • Location: Cheshire

    Eden suggests that the Midlands and East Anglia were worst affected by this storm which he labels "the 20th century's most violent and destructive windstorm to hit England & Wales up to 1987". I have to say I don't remember this storm particularly, and can only surmise that I was in Scotland to celebrate the New Year with my friends, or my part of S London / Surrey was not particularly affected by this weather event.

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    Posted
  • Location: halifax 125m
  • Weather Preferences: extremes the unusual and interesting facts
  • Location: halifax 125m

    Yes,i will never forget this as a 7 year old kid,living at 340 metres in the Pennines.I have 5 brothers and a sister and my Parents woke us all up in the middle of the night and we all had to go downstairs as they thought the house roof was going to be blown off.Knowing what i know now about building and the fact the roof was heavy stone slates no amount of wind would simply blow that roof off but i certainly thought they did the right thing as i wouldnt want one on my head.From what i remember some of the very heavy stone ridges had come off and an area of slates had moved and many pushed down the roof  otherwise we all lived to tell the story.

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    Posted
  • Location: Bacup Lancashire, 1000ft up in the South Pennines
  • Weather Preferences: Summer heat and winter cold, and a bit of snow when on offer
  • Location: Bacup Lancashire, 1000ft up in the South Pennines

    Locally it’s the worst storm I’ve ever witnessed and for a couple of hours it was frightening hearing slates being ripped from roofs and smashed against walls and the roar of the wind as it tried to lift the roofs from the houses.

    I was about 14 at the time and remember going out doing my paper round the following morning and there was damage everywhere with trees and fences down, some of them landing on cars.

    back at home, we lost all of our fencing and the garden shed ended up half way up the field as a pile of firewood.

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