The Great Storm of 1987

1987 storm tree damage

Today marks 30 years since people in the UK woke to find a trail of devastation, left by a storm. The storm became known as the Great Storm of 1987 and happened on the night of 15–16 October 1987, when an unusually strong weather system caused extremely high winds. It was the worst storm to hit the UK since the Great Storm on 1703 and caused the deaths of 18 people in the UK and 4 in France.

According to the Beaufort scale, the storm had winds of hurricane force. However, hurricanes have a very different wind profile to storms and the 1987 event was a storm.

The day before the storm hit the UK, RMetS Fellow Michael Fish gave a now notorious weather forecast. He spoke about a woman who called the BBC worried about a possible hurricane and famously told her not to worry. The next day thousands of trees were down, people were without power and the south of England was devastated. 


Want to know more about the Great Storm of 1987? Want to hear from Michael Fish himself?! 

On 4th November RMetS are running a 1-day event for weather enthusiasts. ‘WeatherLive’ will include talks from Michael Fish and Peter Gibbs about that fateful night, as well as talks on gardening and photography. To find out more and to book your place visit the WeatherLive event pages >>


An ill wind: A look back at the Great Storm of 1987 - Mark Riddaway tells the story of the most famous British weather event of recent history >>

Inside Out programme: Presenter Michael Fish looks back at the great storm of 1987, which wreaked havoc across southern England. 16th Oct at 7:30 (Channel Islands and South West only – available afterwards online) >>

30 years after the Great Storm - how has weather forecasting changed? Read Simon King's blog >>

Read the Met Office's Barometer article - 'Lessons and lecacy of the Great Storm of 1987' >>


News Date: 
Tuesday, October 10, 2017