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The Great Storm of 16th October 1987


A Face like Thunder

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Posted
  • Location: Cheshire
  • Location: Cheshire

Today is the 33rd anniversary of The Great Storm of 1987. Pictured is the weather forecast for 15th October 1987 (Guardian) which perhaps shows how unprepared the authorities were for the events of the following night. The offending low is presumably the innocuous-looking one in the Bay of Biscay which has headed across the Atlantic (arrowed) and which was supposed to head south from the Channel into France. Its actual track into Southern England was what caused the loss of life and widespread devastation, and the post-Storm ramifications were many and long-lasting.

great storm 1987.jpg

coulsdon great storm 2.jpg

coulsdon great storm 13.jpg

coulsdon great storm 15.jpg

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Posted
  • Location: Thorley, west Isle of Wight
  • Weather Preferences: Spanish plumes & stormy winters. Facebook @ Lance's Lightning Shots
  • Location: Thorley, west Isle of Wight

I was 3-weeks old when it hit! I wish it'd waited until I was old enough to remember it 😆

There's a Channel 5 documentary tonight about it. I hope it isn't dumbed down nonsense, given the stuff that usually airs on that channel.

Edited by ResonantChannelThunder
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Posted
  • Location: howth,east dublin city
  • Weather Preferences: extremes
  • Location: howth,east dublin city
3 hours ago, ResonantChannelThunder said:

I was 3-weeks old when it hit! I wish it'd waited until I was old enough to remember it 😆

There's a Channel 5 documentary tonight about it. I hope it isn't dumbed down nonsense, given the stuff that usually airs on that channel.

Cant get Channel 5 in Ireland is anyone else showing ,I would love to see.. I was 18 years old and traveled to the UK for my 1st ever trip abroad  in early November to London and still saw signs of the damage. My friend in borehamwood said the hanging baskets in his house were never seen again..

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Posted
  • Location: Carvoeiro, The Algarve
  • Location: Carvoeiro, The Algarve
3 minutes ago, emmett garland said:

Cant get Channel 5 in Ireland is anyone else showing ,I would love to see.. I was 18 years old and traveled to the UK for my 1st ever trip abroad  in early November to London and still saw signs of the damage. My friend in borehamwood said the hanging baskets in his house were never seen again..

Do you not have the My5 App on your tv?

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Posted
  • Location: Bedfordshire 33m above mean sea level
  • Weather Preferences: Snowy and thundery.
  • Location: Bedfordshire 33m above mean sea level

wow. I can still remember being woken up by my Dad telling me school was closed. I never heard any of it and the only thing different was the fact my window was covered in muck.  A friends dad who worked as a fireman rung to say it was too dangerous to go out with falling tiles and trees. We were quite lucky as it goes - we lost too plastic plant holders outside that, strangely, had left the actual soil and plants unharmed where they had once stood. We never found the pots.

Our school fared worst, as our gym roof had fallen in. 

We lived 5 miles inland from the sea, and the day before had sat in the car eating fish and chips by the front, i can always remember how odd the clouds looked, like straight lines heading towards us. It was this event that piqued my love of clouds and storms.

Edited by Dami
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Posted
  • Location: howth,east dublin city
  • Weather Preferences: extremes
  • Location: howth,east dublin city
27 minutes ago, Bristle Si said:

Do you not have the My5 App on your tv?

|Ill check.. What is exact name of documentary its asking me to search for a particular programme.. Thanks by the way hopefully they have cast symbol

11 minutes ago, Weather-history said:

There's a Channel 5 documentary tonight at 9pm on the storm

sorry no app on tv only phone

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Posted
  • Location: Thorley, west Isle of Wight
  • Weather Preferences: Spanish plumes & stormy winters. Facebook @ Lance's Lightning Shots
  • Location: Thorley, west Isle of Wight
44 minutes ago, emmett garland said:

|Ill check.. What is exact name of documentary its asking me to search for a particular programme.. Thanks by the way hopefully they have cast symbol

sorry no app on tv only phone

It's called The Great Storm of '87

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

We lost stables, kennels, the conservatory roof, the garage roof was damaged, the lane to the house was flooded for days and we couldn't get in or out. 

I spent two weeks with a chain saw cutting up fallen trees and limbs, and that was just in our paddock and the adjoining field. 

The holiday caravan park over the other side of the railway embankment had every caravan damaged and at least half of them turned on their side. 

Once I did get back to work (USAF Bentwaters), around that area and especially Rendlesham/Woodbridge area, it was just tree after tree after tree, all flattened. 

I don't think I've ever heard the wind like it since or before even when I lived in Cornwall in Newlyn, it wasnt in gusts as usual, just a constant roar. 

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Posted
  • Location: London
  • Location: London

The day after this storm was quite sunny in the morning, and I remember heading down to the river and seeing the devastation in the small park. All the trees were down and most of the cars were flattened. 
 

The late afternoon was rainy, but I don’t remember it feeling cold. 

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Posted
  • Location: Hampshire Snow Hoper
  • Location: Hampshire Snow Hoper

Yes being 700 ft asl in Kent got quite lively,lost the back of the roof of the house,cut off for 10 days,Sevenoaks became one oak,we lost 100s of trees,nobody in the village was injured,a night that will never be forgotten

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

Fortunately or unfortunately we were almost unaffected living in the North.

On a whistlestop holiday  back in 1991 We went to Hastings for the day but due to our late arrival it was very late in the day that we decided to go to the battle site at Battle.What i didnt expect however was to be locked out,i just thought it was some field we could park near and have a walk around.After a short while we decided to climb over a wall and look around anyway as its just one of those places i wanted to visit and didnt know when i would return,in fact i have never been back since.What was most surprising to me was the amount of tree stumps  left around as well as trees still left  as they had fallen even 4 years after the event.I remember seeing one stump which was rather large with dates of historical events marked in the tree growth rings going back many hundreds of years.

Edited by hillbilly
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Posted
  • Location: Doncaster - east
  • Location: Doncaster - east
11 hours ago, ResonantChannelThunder said:

I was 3-weeks old when it hit! I wish it'd waited until I was old enough to remember it 😆

There's a Channel 5 documentary tonight about it. I hope it isn't dumbed down nonsense, given the stuff that usually airs on that channel.

 

-3 days for me. I suspect had my mother not travelled north to give birth with family members around (military father was away), that it wouldn't have been pleasant for her on the south coast.  Maybe I'd have been born in the storm?

 

Funny that things like this go on to define your life, this and black Monday will never escape me.

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Posted
  • Location: Yorkshire Wolds
  • Weather Preferences: Hot sun, storms & ‘Oh no can’t go into work - snowed in’ days
  • Location: Yorkshire Wolds

Yes, I watched the doc last night. What I thought was interesting & didn’t know, was the reason we were so unprepared…..that the weather equipment we’d previously relied on, the forecasting ships were aging and being decommissioned, so there were huge gaps in the data gathering! Knowing there was a storm out at sea, ships were warned to stay away from the area, hence even less eyes on the storm so no-one to tell us how bad it was getting! A good programme 👍🏼

I do remember the storm but obviously up north it was just strong winds. A corrugated sheet blew off our garage roof & I remember chasing up the street after it!

And interesting how it impacted on Black Monday, again, hadn’t been aware of that.

Edited by RebsAbbo
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Posted
  • Location: London
  • Location: London
7 hours ago, A Face like Thunder said:

An excellent historical programme, leaving aside Rick Astley and 'John Kettley is a Weatherman' by A Tribe of Toffs! And pretty accurate as well. 90 minutes of nostalgia, I thoroughly recommend it. 

It was 17c during the night. Must have felt balmy. 

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Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam
7 hours ago, A Face like Thunder said:

An excellent historical programme, leaving aside Rick Astley and 'John Kettley is a Weatherman' by A Tribe of Toffs! And pretty accurate as well. 90 minutes of nostalgia, I thoroughly recommend it. 

A couple of points, I take issue though

Is Michael Fish, OK? Odd that they did a programme on this event, mention the great man numerous times but they didn't actually interview for his memories. 

Debatable that the Storm of 87 was the biggest storm to hit Great Britain since 1703. Much of the country it was a non event. January 1976 was a monster (that actually took more lives) and affected a larger area and going further back you have the January 1839 event. 

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Posted
  • Location: London
  • Location: London
2 hours ago, Weather-history said:

A couple of points, I take issue though

Is Michael Fish, OK? Odd that they did a programme on this event, mention the great man numerous times but they didn't actually interview for his memories. 

Debatable that the Storm of 87 was the biggest storm to hit Great Britain since 1703. Much of the country it was a non event. January 1976 was a monster (that actually took more lives) and affected a larger area and going further back you have the January 1839 event. 

It was a big weather event, when you factor in that a large portion of the U.K. population live in the southern half of England, and the Southeast alone has the largest amount of people. 
 

A massive windstorm in the highlands of the Lakes or Scotland won’t register as a notable weather event when compared to the south. 

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Posted
  • Location: Cheshire
  • Location: Cheshire

This from 15th October 1987. I can perhaps see where Michael Fish and colleagues were coming from! 

Interesting that the programme mentioned  'strange feelings' before the storm struck. I came out of a hall at 10pm, just half-an-hour after I went in,  and my car was covered in condensation, an eerie sign of things to come perhaps. 

Yes, the French forecasters were spot on but that was because the storm was due to turn right out of the Channel and hit France full on. In the event, it turned left and hit the south of England, which of course was neither expected nor forecast. 

The Burns Day gale of 25th January 1990 was much more widespread than 1987 and, coming during the day, resulted in more deaths. However it was correctly forecast in advance and the emergency and other services would have been warned well in advance. I recall seeing the power of nature at work in Blackpool that day and, yes, it was destructive. 

Could contain:

Edited by A Face like Thunder
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Posted
  • Location: London
  • Location: London
33 minutes ago, A Face like Thunder said:

This from 15th October 1987. I can perhaps see where Michael Fish and colleagues were coming from! 

Interesting that the programme mentioned  'strange feelings' before the storm struck. I came out of a hall at 10pm, just half-an-hour after I went in,  and my car was covered in condensation, an eerie sign of things to come perhaps. 

Yes, the French forecasters were spot on but that was because the storm was due to turn right out of the Channel and hit France full on. In the event, it turned left and hit the south of England, which of course was neither expected nor forecast. 

The Burns Day gale of 25th January 1990 was much more widespread than 1987 and, coming during the day, resulted in more deaths. However it was correctly forecast in advance and the emergency and other services would have been warned well in advance. I recall seeing the power of nature at work in Blackpool that day and, yes, it was destructive. 

Could contain:

This was the first time our modern climate changed. 
 

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Posted
  • Location: Thorley, west Isle of Wight
  • Weather Preferences: Spanish plumes & stormy winters. Facebook @ Lance's Lightning Shots
  • Location: Thorley, west Isle of Wight

Strange documentary. I'm more interested in science than in Pete Waterman's memories. Still, if anything, given I was born in '87, it showed me a lot of what was going on that year in general that I'd either forgotten or not been aware of before.

Edited by ResonantChannelThunder
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