The Great Storm

The Great Storm of 1987 occurred on the night of 15/16 October 1987, when an unusually strong weather system caused winds to hit much of southern England and northern France. It was the worst storm to hit England since the Great Storm of 1703[2] (284 years earlier) and was responsible for the deaths of at least 22 people in England and France combined (18 in England, at least four in France).[3]

According to the Beaufort scale of wind intensities, this storm had winds of hurricane force; however, the term hurricane refers to tropical cyclones originating in the North Atlantic or North Pacific. Hurricanes have a very different wind profile and distribution to storms, and significantly higher precipitation levels.

The storm was declared a rare event, expected to happen only once every several hundred years. However, the Burns’ Day storm hit the United Kingdom in January 1990, less than three years later and with comparable intensity.


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