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What’s the worst storm you have experienced living in the UK?


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Posted
  • Location: Western Isles
  • Location: Western Isles

    For me with out a shadow of a doubt was the 11th January 2005 storms.

    The wet and windy start to 2005 continued as an active Atlantic depression ploughed across the North of the UK. The storm was centred far to the West of Ireland on the 11th and began to deepen rapidly as it approached the Northwest of Scotland during the day bringing a spell of damaging winds, these following on from those that hit the North on the 8th. Mean wind speeds approached sustained hurricane force and gusted to record breaking speeds in the far north and west for a time during the late evening and early morning period of the 11th/12th.

    At midnight the low was centred close to North Rona (a remote island station located in the far west of the Western Isles) predicted to be close to 944mbars as seen on the 00Z synoptic chart: http

    It was during this hour that the station recorded a mean low level wind speed of 94kts (108 mph) and a phenomenal gust of 116kts (134 mph) – which would be the 2nd highest low level gust ever recorded. However there is concern about the station exposure and discussion continues as to the veracity of the report. Although the station is very isolated and exposed, it was not alone in recording a gusts in excess of 100 mph during the night as is shown by Table 1 below. The strongest lowland gust aside from at N Rona, of 116mph, was recorded by a trusty Davis Vantage Pro 1 at Carloway on the Isle of Lewis. The wind rig had been put into service only the day before the storm and the owner wasn't sure it would survive it's first testing; however it clearly did!

    bracka20050112.gif

    Table 1: Selected wind gusts recorded during the 11th and 12th

    Station

    Wind Gust

    (mph)

    Aanoch Mor (3000ft)*

    142

    Cairngorm (4000ft)*

    139

    North Rona, W Isles* 134

    Carloway, Isle of Lewis

    Sule Skerry

    116

    115

    Barra

    106

    Benbecula

    103

    Stornoway

    101

    Loch Glascarnoch

    96

    Fair Isle

    92

    Lerwick

    91

    Hurricane force winds which swept the Western Isles during the evening as the centre of the low (still falling at the time) passed just to the North - caused a considerable amount of structural damage and flooding in the area as the tide surged inland. Tragically a family of five lost their lives in the storm as they attempted to escape from rising floodwaters at their home on Benbecula - the car in which they were travelling was washed into the sea by the tide and severe winds.

    Much of Scotland was affected by the storm – roads were blocked, main bridges closed, ferry services and rail operations abandoned. Over 60,000 were left without power as trees and power lines lay strewn across the countryside in the storms wake. During the afternoon a driver was killed after a lorry blown over the A1 near Burnmouth crushed their car, many were evacuated from their homes as 4ft flood waters engulfed parts of Oban, a Spanish fishing boat which went missing off the Hebrides was rescued by the RAF – all 19 passengers safe. Further flooding also occurred in the Western and Northern Isles – particularly badly affected was Ronaldsay in Orkney where it was estimated to be the worst flooding for 20 years.

    more images

    Satellite representation of the centre continued to appear slightly more elongated to the NW /SE than the models actual representation, with the strongest winds just to the south of the bank bent occlusion; satellite 'scat' winds showed a core of 70 kt winds associated with it. There had also been a gust to 82 kts at Belmullet- worrying, as it was rather higher than model gusts had been expecting at this time. Whilst it appeared to have been associated with a hail squall, the strongest core of winds was now recognised as being likely to clip NW Ireland and affect more of N Ireland than had previously been expected.

    Pressure rises from Buoy 62108 had also exceeded 16mbs in a 3 hour period during the morning in the confluence post upper trough, these pressure rises expanding as the low continued to deepen. However there were few ship observations to back up the buoys, as ships had been advised to avoid the area. The low was now expected to reach peak intensity some time around midnight to the NW of Scotland with a pressure near or below 940mbs.

    By 21Z the intense depression to the NW of Scotland was nearing its maximum depth. WV Loops showed a decrease in forcing, as the storm became vertically stacked. Central pressure was estimated at or slightly below 940mbs. At 21Z the isolated island station of North Rona was reporting pressure as being 946mbs. The depression had slowed as it extended upwards and now moved under its own momentum, as opposed to the jet driving it - which was about to move on.

    Winds had been extreme across the NW during the evening. North Rona had already reported mean winds of just short of 100mph with gusts to 115mph. Barra in the Hebrides had reported a 92Knt gust before the automatic station had stopped reporting at 17Z.. Stornoway had reported a gust over 100mph in the last hour. Gusts of up to 75/80mph were also being reported along Scotland's West Coast, whilst gusts peaked in the Glasgow area just shy of 70mph.

    There was also some intense convection rotating around the southern flank of the low, some very vigorous indeed with a cluster approaching 15W associated with a PVA Max. Trajectories moved this feature NE to clip NW Ireland and then affect Western Scotland overnight. Snow levels were generally about 300m but were temporarily lower in any squalls so blizzards were occurring over the Scottish mountains. Sferics west of Ireland highlighted the instabilty.

    Winds rose a little more during the next few hours as noted above.. a peak wind of 134mph being reported at N Rona though it should be emphasised that this is a very remote and unpopulated island station; however generally after 00Z they started to abate.

    taken from this site http://www.wiseweather.co.uk/id85.html

    It ceritanly a night I will never forgot in a hurry

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

    If your storm had hit Southern England instead, then that would have been my worst by the look of it. As it is the 87 is by far my most memorable.

    Funnily enough my best electrical storm happened in 1987 too, at Sittingbourne, in July or August I think. Got to be a vintage year :)

    Regards,

    Russ.

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    Posted
  • Location: Home near Sellindge, 80m/250feet, 5miles from Coast
  • Weather Preferences: Severe Storms and Snow
  • Location: Home near Sellindge, 80m/250feet, 5miles from Coast

    The supercell of 15th july! :):)

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    Posted
  • Location: Dunoon Argyll Scotland
  • Location: Dunoon Argyll Scotland

    Cookie i remember that storm here in barra and it says 106mph for here but some other sites say 130mph winds and 140mph gusts but still it was the worst storm ive ever seen :)

    The damage here,

    1. smashed windows on some cars

    2. some roofs damaged

    3. fishing boats sank

    4. castlebay pier was damaged

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    Posted
  • Location: Western Isles
  • Location: Western Isles
    Cookie i remember that storm here in barra and it says 106mph for here but some other sites say 130mph winds and 140mph gusts but still it was the worst storm ive ever seen :)

    The damage here,

    1. smashed windows on some cars

    2. some roofs damaged

    3. fishing boats sank

    4. castlebay pier was damaged

    A school lost its roof here. at the co-op where I work the sign from the shop was ripped off the front. I proper huge metal one and landed 2 miles away in school playing feilds.

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    Posted
  • Location: Dunoon Argyll Scotland
  • Location: Dunoon Argyll Scotland

    Also in Uist a family lost there lives which is sad and Uists swimming pool blew away also 100's of sheep died.

    Also lorries blew over.

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    Posted
  • Location: Evesham, Worcs, Albion
  • Location: Evesham, Worcs, Albion

    Without doubt the night of the 5th February 1989 ....... severe gales with 11 inches of rain falling over a 48 hour period, most of it during that night ........ and I was camped on my own in a remote Highland glen 6 miles from the nearest habitation ....... tent had collapsed by early evening ....... puddles in my sleeping bag all night ......... had to wade waist deep through floodwaters to reach safety next morning.

    (This was the storm which created the floods that swept away Inverness railway bridge)

    The 'Valentines Eve' storm on the 13th Feb 1989 was a felinecat in comparison - mainly because I had had the foresight to take shelter in a hostel :lol: (that was the storm that produced a 145mph gust at Fraserburgh)

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    If you mean thunderstorms... by a mile the 3rdI July storm of 2001. An absolute monster, could have been a supercell. I remember as it was getting dark distant flashes down the valley to the south, soon I could see regular fork lightning hitting the mountains. In 10 minutes or so it was directly overhead wtih almost constant fork lightning striking everywhere along the town. This continued for about 3 hours of virtually non stop lightning. I mean literally every second or usually several times a second there was lightning close by for about 3 hours, another hour of much less intense occasional lightning. The power was knocked out several times and the was some flooding from the torrential rain. Not seen anything like that even abroad. By far the most amazing storm ever.

    I think this was it, thanks to Mr Data.

    Rsfloc20010703.gif

    The worst low pressure storm... probably this January, 18th. Never seen wind like it, must have been gusting to 60-70mph, even here well inland and sheltered by mountains. Several trees and fences were down, lots of debris. That was the storm that killed several people and trashed the Napoli ship.

    airpressure.png

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    Posted
  • Location: Taunton, Somerset
  • Weather Preferences: Snow, thunder, strong winds. HATE:stagnant weather patterns
  • Location: Taunton, Somerset

    Thunderstorm wise, the worst (best) storms I have experienced were 24th June 2005, I had 9 overhead thunderstorms that day, all of them were intense with torrential rain, gusty winds, frequent lightning and hail. The brief sunny intervals in between the storms helped spark of the next one, I seemed to be caught in a chain of them. Then there was another batch of severe thuderstorms with strobe lightning on June 28th 2005, just four days later.

    Gale wise, 27th October 2002 really sticks out in mind. We had gusts of wind near 100 mph here with numerous trees down and some structural damamge about. Crazily, I went to Lyme Raegis that day and the sea swell was amazing! The wind was also forcing me along, I could fully lean back into the wind without falling over. Here is a chart of the depression.Rrea00120021027.gif

    Another recent wind event that sticks out in the mind is 18th January this years. Winds gusted at around 80/90mph and blew trees down, including a 100ft oak in the nearby village of Curry Rivel- that was certainly an amazing sight! The winds were also powerful enough to blow down a neighbours STONE wall, which really must have taken some going! Here is a chart of the depression having passed over us the next day, you can see how intense it was:

    Rrea00120070119.gif

    If I had to choose one of those events to be the worst storm I have experienced in the UK then it would be the 24th June 2005 thunderstorm event, though the wind event of 27th October 2002 comes a close second.

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

    Worst storm for me has to be the '87 storm, we lost a conservatory, a garage roof, kennels, the rabbit breeding area was flooded, 3 trees down in the paddock out the back of the house, large oaks. Railway beside the house was flooded with a lot of debris over it. Took a week to clear the half mile drive to the house I lived in of trees, branches and debris, and that was after it took 2 days for the flooding to subside. Once back to work, the damage seen on the way to work and debris everywhere was around for weeks after.

    Electrical storm? Hmmm, not sure, remember a real bad one when I lived in Newlyn/Penzance when I was a kid. Couple of years ago was a good one, with largeish hail, strong gust front. Guess each thunderstorm has its own merits.

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

    This is tricky because I remember so many storms for differing reasons that make them up there as equal best for me. But this would just pip the others...

    Thunderstorm wise, the worst (best) storms I have experienced were 24th June 2005, I had 9 overhead thunderstorms that day, all of them were intense with torrential rain, gusty winds, frequent lightning and hail. The brief sunny intervals in between the storms helped spark of the next one, I seemed to be caught in a chain of them.

    Ditto :) ; what a day that was, all thanks to a trailing cold front that stuck over our region from about 03.00-14.00. Can recall a number of sudden thunder explosions due to very close CG strikes. Had 45mm of rain in those 11 hours, time-wise it didn't actually rain for very long.

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    Posted
  • Location: New Milton, Hampshire (55m AMSL)
  • Location: New Milton, Hampshire (55m AMSL)

    Best thunderstorm was on the night of 2nd June 1999. It dumped my highest day and hour rainfall totals at 60.8mm in 1.5 hours! It rolled in from the Channel late evening and lasted a good couple of hours with torrential rain, strong winds and marble hail.

    Some of the 'plume' storms of the early 1990s were very long-lasting and spectacular lightning-wise. I've never seen such long-lasting all-nighters since. If only I was old enough to get some shots of the lightning! :D

    Worse wind event obviously 16th October 1987. This kick-started my weather interest at age 6 with huge husts, opposing wind directions and an 'eye', just like a hurricane as the low pushed over. I'll never forget the sound of trees snapping and tiles scapping down the roof and smashing on the floor, as well as the constant flashes in the sky (lightning or power not sure).

    Another nasty wind was January 1990. The entire roof blew off my grandmother's block of flats and our school greenhouse took off and smashed into our school hall during assembly, luckily nowhere near the windows.

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    Posted
  • Location: Western Isles
  • Location: Western Isles
    Without doubt the night of the 5th February 1989 ....... severe gales with 11 inches of rain falling over a 48 hour period, most of it during that night ........ and I was camped on my own in a remote Highland glen 6 miles from the nearest habitation ....... tent had collapsed by early evening ....... puddles in my sleeping bag all night ......... had to wade waist deep through floodwaters to reach safety next morning.

    (This was the storm which created the floods that swept away Inverness railway bridge)

    The 'Valentines Eve' storm on the 13th Feb 1989 was a felinecat in comparison - mainly because I had had the foresight to take shelter in a hostel :D (that was the storm that produced a 145mph gust at Fraserburgh)

    am i right in saying thats the highest ever wind speed recorded in the uk?

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    Posted
  • Location: Basingstoke, Hants
  • Weather Preferences: Unexpected gusts of wind, and cumulus clouds in rude and amusing shapes.
  • Location: Basingstoke, Hants
    If you mean thunderstorms... by a mile the 3rdI July storm of 2001. An absolute monster, could have been a supercell. I remember as it was getting dark distant flashes down the valley to the south, soon I could see regular fork lightning hitting the mountains. In 10 minutes or so it was directly overhead wtih almost constant fork lightning striking everywhere along the town. This continued for about 3 hours of virtually non stop lightning. I mean literally every second or usually several times a second there was lightning close by for about 3 hours, another hour of much less intense occasional lightning. The power was knocked out several times and the was some flooding from the torrential rain. Not seen anything like that even abroad. By far the most amazing storm ever.

    I think this was it, thanks to Mr Data.

    Rsfloc20010703.gif

    Yep, has to be this storm as well for me.

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    Posted
  • Location: Up North like
  • Location: Up North like

    Worst Thunderstorm was Sunday 20th June 2004

    It had been a very warm weekend up in Helmsley, N York Moors, where I used to live and the Motorbike weekend was just coming to a close.

    I could hear constant rumblings of thunder for an hour before anything arrived. I looked on the strike alert site and saw just a huge area of orange, I had never seen anything anywhere near that amount of strikes.

    When it arrived it was unbelievable, lightening every 2 seconds and trees bending right over with the force of the wind and rain. The quantity of rain was also unbelievable, it was as though someone was throwing bathloads of water against the window. After approx an hour the rain subsided and daylight returned. Our lawn was under a few inches of standing water.

    I went outside to survey the damage and saw a rescue helicoptor overhead with a searchlight (it was still a bit gloomy) looking for something/one. Then later I heard another rescue helicoptor and between the pair of them they carried on hoovering about for the rest of the evening.

    It turns out that some of the bikers had been forced to climb trees to avoid being swept away. A village was cut off after their bridge was swept away and our bridge was shut for a few days whilst structural engineers surveyed it. Many sheep and other animals were swept away and lots of properties were badly damaged (we were on TV for about a week)

    The good thing was that this happened on the Sunday not the Saturday. If it had happened on the Saturday there would have been a lot of very drunk Bikers and I fear some fatalities

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    Posted
  • Location: Paignton, Devon
  • Location: Paignton, Devon

    Wind Storm, loads of choices but only one sticks out;

    The Christmas Storm of '97, Xmas Storm Of '97

    Howling winds, heavy rain was amazing was only 8, and i lived in Blackpool at the time, and the family were staying at my step-Gran and grandads house.

    I was told winds In Blackpool gusted up to 90mph that night, loads of trees were blown down in Stanley Park, (didnt like the sight of it as the zoo was across the road and i felt sorry for the animals)

    Our car was lucky as tiles flew off next doors garage roof landed on it, but it only had scratches. The end of the north peir fell into the sea. I remember going to sleep in the attic conversion and thinking how the hell is santa going to get down the bloody chimney, but the noise the wind made never heard it roar like that since, i was convinced it was going to blow off. But i do remeber watching the bin spinning/semi flying round the garden with great amusement until we had a powercut.

    In Terms of thunderstorms i had to pick 2 as they were both brilliant.

    First one 12th December 2002. Lightning

    Can only describe it as a freak thunderstorm, we had one at about 8P m that night wasn't forecast or anything, went on for about an hour was nothing special, but we did get a powercut. Then at 11pm i awoke to another one, this tim it was absoultly bouncing it down, with rain and hail, (only pea sized) then it went utterly bizzare, i noticed big ice splodges hitting the windows, so i opended the window and i could see what looked like rain & snow, and i'm conviced it was from the way it looked like hitting the windows this carried on for about another 10 minutes or so, and the ice/snow settled on all the cold surfaces,the street was flooded, had another powercut and my school was struck by lightning, but never seen anything like that since.

    2nd one has to be June 24th 2005 June 24th Lightning

    Amazing is the best way to describe it, 6 overhead storms that day, one of them dropped over an inch of rain within 30 minutes, we had two inches in total that day, brilliant frequent lightning, all different colours, lots of forked lightning, saw my freinds house get struck by lightning!, (didnt know it was hers until she told me that hers had been hit, and she lived where i had watched the lightning hit.) and after all of that we still hit 24c that day and it wasnt even sunny. We then had a second batch the 4 days later. Love to have a plume of storms like that again. :o

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    Posted
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral
  • Weather Preferences: Summer: warm, humid, thundery. Winter: mild, stormy, some snow.
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral
    Christmas Eve 1997 and 18th January this year... both extremely windy.

    Worst thunderstorm was summer 2005 I think - Stephen Prudence might remember the date.

    18th Jan I remember, loads of trees down, 1997 CE cant remember that one, and summer 2005 not sure I remember that one, but do remember an Evening in July 2001 the most amazing storm in (my) living memory, and the thundersnow event in the mid-ninetees that only gave snow to Heswall and blue/pink lightning (the strangest thing ive ever seen)..

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    Posted
  • Location: Louth, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Misty Autumn days and foggy nights
  • Location: Louth, Lincolnshire

    In the UK? The 1990 Burns Night storm - was in Arbroath that night and it was absolutely wild - The house we were staying in was literally heaving with the wind. Two years later I was in Lafayette, Louisiana when Hurricane Andrew made landfall a second time in Louisiana and it made the Burns Night storm look like a summer breeze, I've never seen anything like it in my life.

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