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Storm Of 1703


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Posted
  • Location: Warwick and Hull
  • Location: Warwick and Hull

    Does anyone have information on the storm of 1703? I've read information on several sites, but all the information seems to be different. Some say the storm had 120mph gusts, others say it had 120mph sustained winspeeds. A few say it lasted from 26-27th november, but one said it lasted from 24th november to the 2nd of december. Also, more interestingly, at least two different sources speculated it was infact a tropical cyclone.

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    Posted
  • Location: Western Isle of Wight
  • Weather Preferences: Snow, Storm, anything loud and dramatic.
  • Location: Western Isle of Wight

    I think thats in the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Weather Book and others in that line, but i can't be certain as i have lent my book to a friend, so i can't check at the moment. I think it went on for a few days and the wind speed was max 120mph.

    Mr Data will know i bet :rolleyes:

    Edited by Rustynailer
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    Posted
  • Location: Tonbridge, Kent
  • Location: Tonbridge, Kent

    Here are a couple of wx notes, the first one local to me.

    "The wind blew with such violence that that it destroyed over 1,100 houses in Kent alone. Branchely Church near Tunbridge lost its steeple. Scarely a house was undamaged in Tonbridge and Penhurst Park lost 500 trees. The wind blew so hard that it brought salt in from the Channel and cattle refused to eat the brine-crusted grass at Cranbrook, 17 miles inland." (Source: Bob Ogley)

    [The 'Great Storm' of 1703 which commenced on Friday 26th November (old-style) was probably the worst ever experienced in England.....Possibly a rejuvenated Atlantic hurricane, this storm produced estimated winds reaching 120mph/104 knots] Full text here http://homepage.ntlworld.com/booty.weather...e/1700_1749.htm

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    • 5 years later...
    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    The first complete account of the impact of the storm on the East of England has been written by Martin Brayne.But there is a good account written by Dennis Wheeler.

    The Great Storm of November 1703:

    A new look at the seamen’s records

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1256/wea.83.03/pdf

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    • 9 years later...
    Posted
  • Location: Rossland BC Canada
  • Location: Rossland BC Canada

    Don't forget that the great storm of 1703 happened when the Julian calendar was still used in England. The dates of 26-27 Nov equate to 7-8 Dec in the modern calendar so that would be a better comparison; it would be more accurate to think of this as a December type of weather event (although these are minor distinctions at best). The storm occurred at the new moon which exacerbated tidal surges, the Severn estuary was badly flooded in this storm. Some have speculated that it was a tropical remnant of some kind, and that it approached from the southwest (the latter is somewhat more certain, the former is entirely speculative, no evidence exists to support it). A pressure reading of 973 mbs was taken at Benfleet, Essex and here again speculation but some have said the central pressure might have been around 950 mbs as the low crossed the midlands.

    More context, this storm occurred after a relatively mild autumn in a cold era when Novembers often averaged 5 C (this one closer to 6). It was near the end of the Maunder minimum and towards the peak of a very weak solar cycle that peaked in 1705 and is rated barely onto the scale by Schove.

    The long duration of the strong winds suggests this low was not travelling especially fast and that there was probably nothing similar to the Oct 1987 squall line feature, in synoptic terms it may have resembled Feb 27, 1903 which tracked further north and did somewhat similar damage in southeast Ireland. And in terms of intensity, its only real rival (leaving out of consideration either Debbie or Ophelia as being obvious tropical remnants) is probably the 1839 storm that hit further north again in Ireland (the Big Wind of 6-7 Jan 1839). It would appear that this 1703 storm was at least 25% stronger than such celebrated recent storms as Burns Day 1990 or various events in the late 1990s or Darwin 2014. 

    Would we ever see something like the 1703 storm again? Probably, the return period from any reasonable estimate of spectrum of frequency would be in the order of 300-500 years. Is climate change making such a storm more likely? Not necessarily, cold climates can produce very intense lows, the factors that generate intense cyclones in the winter season include the phasing of upper and lower circulations, and in a colder climate, you can get lower heights and thicknesses. Warmer climates may have more potential energy available, but the question is more than just energy available, it goes to energy that is assembled. So I wouldn't say that the trend to warmer climate is increasing the risks of a repeat of the 1703 storm, although it is probably not decreasing it either. 

    Sooner or later this could happen again. Some might say it did with the Oct 1987 storm but that one had a much shorter burst of high energy and the damage was more concentrated inland with trees in full leaf. A December windstorm would encounter largely bare deciduous trees. Of course building standards and ship safety are much different today. Presumably a 1703 exact repeat would be well warned in advance, modern construction would fare better against it, and ships would not be in vulnerable locations crowded with sailors. The same could be said for a repeat of the 1839 storm in similar locations. But we would know that a repeat had occurred from the measurements of wind speeds and central pressure. 

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