December 9 2013 Latest news:
Sunday, October 27, 2013
This morning’s expected storm has already attracted comparisons with October 1987 – but is it really going to be a repeat of that storm.
While there are similarities, there are also major differences – and we will have to wait for the next few days to see how it plays out.
Both storms took place in October, while there are still leaves on the trees – which makes them much more vulnerable than they are when hit by storms in the dead of winter when the branches are bare.
Both came from the Atlantic, bringing in weather that had wound itself up over the Azores.
But a major difference is, of course, that the nation is expecting Monday’s storm. There have been warnings about it since the middle of last week and over the weekend its arrival has been dominating news bulletins.
The Great Storm of 1987 is famous for arriving with no warning.
Another difference is the time the storm is likely to hit us. In 1987 the worst of the weather hit in the dead of night, when most people were tucked up in bed.
This year’s storm is expected to reach its maximum intensity between 6am and 9am on Monday morning – the rush hour when people are heading to work.
That makes it potentially more dangerous. It is one thing for roads to be blocked by fallen trees and for motorists to be unable to get past. It is another for trees to blow down on top of cars as they are driving past them.
And since 1987 the British public have been waiting for the next “Big Storm.” There have been warnings before that we are facing “The biggest storm since ‘87” but somehow they have not proved as destructive or seared themselves into the nation’s consciousness.
Whether the latest “biggest storm since ‘87” will prove as bad as that remains to be seen – by teatime Monday all should be clear.
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