Archive for Great Storm of 1987

Before the Storm…

Posted in Biographical, History with tags , , , , on October 16, 2017 by telescoper

Nearly at the end of my short visit to India I find myself checking on the UK news. Home thoughts from abroad and all that. Anyway, it’s quite a coincidence that Hurricane Ophelia is arriving,  exactly on the thirtieth anniversary of the famous `Great Storm‘ that wrought destruction across the South-East of England in 1987. The path of Ophelia is rather different from that of the 1987 `Hurricane’, and it looks like Ireland will bear the brunt over the next day or two, as the storm will weaken as it encounters land, though there will be strong winds far outside the path denoted in this map:

 

I hope the damage from this storm  isn’t too bad and that people in its path stay safely out of harm’s way, especially in Ireland. It’s possible the winds may affect my current home in Wales too. I hope I don’t get back tomorrow evening to find the roof has blown off!

Thirty years ago today I was living in Brighton as a graduate student at the University of Sussex. On October 16th 1987 (a Friday) I woke up to find the electricity had been cut off. Without breakfast I struggled out to find the street lined with fallen trees, smashed cars and houses with broken windows. I got to the railway station to get the train to Falmer (where the University of Sussex is located) only to find that no trains were running. I walked home and went back to bed. It took several days for normal service to resume. When I did get up to campus the following week, I found that almost all the trees in Stanmer Park had come down and were combed flat on the top of the hill.

The Great Storm of 1987 , according to weather forecaster Michael Fish, was “not a hurricane” had nevertheless caused enormours destruction. And I had slept through the whole thing…

Here’s the infamous weather forecast broadcast on the Thursday evening:

and here is the BBC News from the following day:

 

The Gathering Storm

Posted in Biographical, History with tags , , , on October 27, 2013 by telescoper

Twenty-six years ago I was living in Brighton as a graduate student at the University of Sussex. On October 16th 1987 (a Friday) I woke up to find the electricity had been cut off. Without breakfast, I left the house come up to campus, only t to find the street lined with fallen trees, smashed cars and houses with broken windows. This was the Great Storm of 1987 which, according to weather forecaster Michael Fish, was “not a hurricane” and I had slept through the whole thing…

I didn’t make it up to campus that Friday. The trains weren’t running because there was no electricity, power lines having been brought down by the storm, and even if there had been electricity the trains couldn’t have run because the tracks were blocked by fallen trees. When I did make it up to campus several days later the trees on the hills either side of the campus had been combed flat. It took years for them to recover. I hope they don’t suffer the same fate this time.

Here’s the infamous weather forecast broadcast on the Thursday evening

Another storm is forecast to arrive tomorrow; here is the Shipping Forecast for sea area Wight which, includes the town of Brighton and areas to the West.

gale_warning

The adjacent sea area, Dover, to the East is just as bad. Evidently it’s not a good day to be messing about in boats. This lunchtime I took a walk along the beach at Brighton to see how bad it was. The wind direction was  from the southwest and I estimated it was about force 7, based on the fact that it nearly blew me over when I turned into it. Not quite a gale, but getting there. A violent storm force 11 is bad enough, but there is a chance of hurricane force 12. That could cause damage on the scale of 1987. I’m now looking very nervously at the scaffolding covering several buildings in my street..

Here are some pictures I took with my phone looking towards the Marina.

IMG-20131027-00193 IMG-20131027-00194 IMG-20131027-00195

And here, in the opposite direction,  is Brighton Pier. There was so much salt spray from the breaking waves that I found hard to keep the lens clear, but the Pier was still open for the usual amusements…

IMG-20131027-00196

These are just the preliminaries, though. The bulk of the storm is yet to hit us. Something tells me we’re in for a stormy night!

After the Storm…

Posted in Biographical, History with tags , , , on October 16, 2012 by telescoper

Twenty-five years ago I was living in Brighton as a graduate student at the University of Sussex. On October 16th 1987 (a Friday) I woke up to find the electricity had been cut off. Without breakfast I struggled out to find the street lined with fallen trees, smashed cars and houses with broken windows. This was the Great Storm of 1987 which, according to weather forecaster Michael Fish, was “not a hurricane” and I had slept through the whole thing…

Here’s the infamous weather forecast broadcast on the Thursday evening

and here is the BBC News from the following day:

I’m sure my readers (Sid and Doris Bonkers) will be anxious to share their recollections of that wild and windy night through the comments box!