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The Great Storm Of January 1968


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Posted
  • Location: Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire (this lockdown) Freuchie, Fife (normally)
  • Weather Preferences: cold and snowy in winter, a good mix of weather the rest of the time
  • Location: Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire (this lockdown) Freuchie, Fife (normally)

    When talking about the 1987 storm, it crossed my mind that both my grandfather on my mother's side and my father, who lived 100 miles away from each other at the time, both mentioned the worst gales they had ever experienced as those of January 1968. 'The Great Storm of 1968 was central Scotland's worst natural disaster since records began, with nine people in Glasgow alone dying while across the west of the country the figure rose to 20 when winds of over 100mph slammed into the west of Scotland damaging 250,000 houses, leaving more than 2,000 people homeless. 'It is well worth pointing out that the Glasgow Storm of 16th January 1968 was allegedly accompanied by tornadoes, these apparently generated by airflow around the hills to the west of Glasgow. There were four distinct lines of severe damage made across the city that night, and there were reports of short lived spells of 'incredible violence and noise' during the height of this gale. Straight line winds exceeded 90kt within the Firth of Clyde.'

    Synoptic charts from this event show an intense low tracking east towards Scandinavia with tightly packed isobars in behind http://www.wetterzentrale.de/pics/archive/ra/1968/Rrea00119680115.gif http://www.meteociel.fr/modeles/archives/1968/archives-1968-1-15-12-0.png

    LS

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    • 6 months later...
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    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    When talking about the 1987 storm, it crossed my mind that both my grandfather on my mother's side and my father, who lived 100 miles away from each other at the time, both mentioned the worst gales they had ever experienced as those of January 1968. 'The Great Storm of 1968 was central Scotland's worst natural disaster since records began, with nine people in Glasgow alone dying while across the west of the country the figure rose to 20 when winds of over 100mph slammed into the west of Scotland damaging 250,000 houses, leaving more than 2,000 people homeless. 'It is well worth pointing out that the Glasgow Storm of 16th January 1968 was allegedly accompanied by tornadoes, these apparently generated by airflow around the hills to the west of Glasgow. There were four distinct lines of severe damage made across the city that night, and there were reports of short lived spells of 'incredible violence and noise' during the height of this gale. Straight line winds exceeded 90kt within the Firth of Clyde.'

    Synoptic charts from this event show an intense low tracking east towards Scandinavia with tightly packed isobars in behind http://www.wetterzen...00119680115.gif http://www.meteociel...8-1-15-12-0.png

    LS

    Not completely forgotten. I remember it well. We were anchored in the Clyde off of Gourock waiting to dock in Greenock. The wind started blowing a hooligan and we started dragging our anchor. No problem just pull it up and get under power. Problem was they couldn't get the anchor up and after a short while we were dangerously close to an unscheduled landing at Gourock. Eventually they decided to slip the anchor and we got under way, but it was a fairly close call. We were luckier than some other ships in the Clyde.

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

    Not for all the tea in China would I ever have gone on one of those, unless it was in harbour out of curiosity, I loved, still do, meteorology, but not to sit in mid Atlantic being sick for 2 weeks.

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    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    Not for all the tea in China would I ever have gone on one of those, unless it was in harbour out of curiosity, I loved, still do, meteorology, but not to sit in mid Atlantic being sick for 2 weeks.

    Normally four or five weeks but it wasn't the tea in china but a couple of guiness a day. There again the reward was we were at least supplying fairly important met. info in the early days. The reality was that in my twenty years on the ships you tended to get a hard core who stayed, for their own reasons, and the rapid turnover of the rest who were sick for much of the time. I did have one moment of weakness on one trip when we had just sailed and rounding the Mull of Kintyre we hit a force 11. The next morning I saunterd (age distorts the memory) down to breakfast, well coffee, and.......well I won't go on, sick buckets don't come into it. Guess this is not really the forum for weather ship stories.:D

    Edit.

    On a more serious note, with hindsight I'm amazed that nobody was seriosly injured or killed over the years.

    Edited by weather ship
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    • 2 months later...
    Posted
  • Location: Buckley, Flintshire, 94m ASL
  • Location: Buckley, Flintshire, 94m ASL

    I remember this storm really well and there's no doubt its the worst I've ever seen. That night, I was on Merseyside, quite a way from the main devastation but the winds were like nothing I've known before or since. From memory, this was a very snowy winter and also the year of the foot and mouth outbreak in Cheshire/Shropshire. This storm happened not long after the snow from an earlier fall had melted and I can remember it being remarkably mild during the storm, 10 degrees at least. My parents were supposed to pick me up at 11 but didn't arrive till midnight, they had to divert half a dozen times where trees had fallen. When we finally arrived home one of our poplar trees had uprooted and brought our power lines down, in the morning we also found a cherry tree snapped in half! That was the first of the poplars to fall out of 12 in the garden and over the years more have fallen, just 2 remain now. I believe there was just one fatality around here so this area got off relatively lightly compared to Scotland. Within a few days there was a huge turnaround and more heavy snow fell.

    Pete

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    Posted
  • Location: South Shields Tyne & Wear half mile from the coast.
  • Location: South Shields Tyne & Wear half mile from the coast.

    Although i was coming up to my 4th birthday when this storm struck i remember it fairly vividly as this was the storm that demolished our home.. The winds were so strong that it dislodged the nextdoor neighbours chimney stack which then proceeded to crash through our roof (Old Victorian upstairs flat) in the early hours Luckly for me and my brother the roof/ceiling held intact over our bedroom as did my parents, but the rest of the flat was totally wrecked. After my father frantically removed bricks to gain entry to our bedroom fearing the worst he couldnt believe his eyes as both me and my brother were sound asleep. It was quite a sight looking up stepping from our room to see the stars and clouds rushing by...

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    • 1 month later...
    Posted
  • Location: Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire (this lockdown) Freuchie, Fife (normally)
  • Weather Preferences: cold and snowy in winter, a good mix of weather the rest of the time
  • Location: Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire (this lockdown) Freuchie, Fife (normally)

    I would disagree about this being central Scotland's worst natural disaster, the flash flood in Greenock in November 1835 killed 38. There are probably many more long forgotten weather disasters which killed many more.

    Having said that the chilling thing is that we're now overdue for another storm like 1968, there are regular occurences of 100mph+ storms in the Glasgow area, off the top of my head 1927 & 1935 were even worse, I have many newspaper articles saved on my laptop to work up a piece about this for the coming winter. I haven't had a chance to collate the dates yet.

    I copied and pasted the description, I really wouldn't venture to say whether it was the worst in recorded history, but perhaps the worst in living memory would be more accurate.

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